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ULYANOVSK, June 7. /TASS/. The world demand for medium-haul airliners within the category that includes Russia’s newest MC-21 will reach about 15,000 planes in the next 20 years, United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) Head Yuri Slyusar said on Wednesday.
The UAC chief made this statement at a meeting with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on additional measures to support the aircraft-building industry.
The UAC defines the segment that comprises the MC-21 airliner as the most capacious on the Russian market, the chief executive said.
"In our estimates, the demand in the MC-21 segment will make up about 15,000 new planes in the next 20 years," Slyusar said.
The aircraft’s parameters put this airliner in the conditions of tight competition with Boeing and Airbus, he noted.
"The plane is planned to be offered to the world market simultaneously with the developments of the Chinese side, which will thus help destroy the duopoly existing on the market, he said.
According to Slyusar, the MC-21 features unique design solutions, including fuel efficiency and comfort for passengers.
The MC-21 is the family of short-and medium-haul narrow-body airliners intended to replace Tupolev Tu-134 and Tu-154 planes and also their Western rivals.
In Russia’s new history, only one airliner, the regional Sukhoi Superjet 100, has been manufactured from scratch. The plane performed the first flight in 2008 and was made operational in 2011.
The MC-21 has a flight range of 6,400 kilometers (3,977 miles), while the Sukhoi Superjet 100 can fly at a distance of 4,578 kilometers (2,845 miles).
The MC-21 will be able to carry 211 passengers, while the Sukhoi Superjet 100 airliner’s seating capacity is 108.
The first flight of the MC-21 airliner was scheduled for December 2016 and its serial assembly was planned to begin in 2017. Later, the first flight was postponed to April and then to late May. The airliner performed its debut flight on May 28, 2017 in Irkutsk.
The current portfolio of orders for MC-21 is 285 airliners, 185 of which have been contracted on prepayment. The first client is Russia’s Aeroflot, which plans to have 50 MC-21 in its fleet. In April, the company’s director general, Vitaly Savelyev, said they expect the first three airliners in 2019.