SOCHI, October 28. /TASS/. Russia and Egypt are discussing deliveries of 15 SSJ-100 aircraft in the context of resuming charter flights to the country's resorts, Russia’s Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov said in an interview with TASS as part of the Russia-Africa forum. According to him, negotiations on the deliveries of MC-21 aircraft are in the early stage.
"It concerns 15 aircraft. Everything depends on air communication with Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh. The issue will be resolved, I think that my colleagues will be very interested in this discussion," he said.
"The same applies to the MC-21. At the moment, it is in the initial stage, given that we have accumulated firm orders for 175 aircraft, we need to fulfill them in the next 5 years. First, deliveries to the domestic market, to our colleagues from the Eurasian Economic Union, the CIS countries, and as for non-CIS countries - we also already have some progress, where we will begin our deliveries," the minister said.
He said that Russia is conducting separate negotiations with African partners on deliveries of civil and military aircraft, focusing specifically on the civilian sector. "In regards to combat aircraft, we have a rich partnership past, present, and future. With civil aviation, it is more difficult, so we have focused on it. During the Soviet era, we have carried out large aircraft deliveries to Africa, but since the 90s and until the 2010s, there were no civilian aircraft deliveries there, the continent was occupied by Western countries. Now we want to reverse this trend," the minister explained.
It was first reported that Russia was negotiating with Egypt on deliveries of SSJ-100 back in 2016. At the time, deliveries of 12 aircraft with an option for another 12 was discussed.
At the same time, according to the minister, the contract for the supply of a SSJ 100 aircraft in the VIP version to Zambia has been suspended because the country does not have enough funds to finance the contract. "We take into account the experience with the Mexican market, where we delivered more than 20 aircraft. In addition to changes in the economy of the region, which affected the operation of the delivered aircraft, some maintenance issues were not completely resolved, there were certain malfunctions in this part. In Africa, for example, we have signed a contract for the supply of a VIP version of the SSJ 100 to Zambia. But, in Zambia, besides the advance payment, there were no funds to finance this aircraft, so the contract has been suspended," Manturov said.
According to him, Russia will continue to search for potential customers in Africa, but such deliveries will become profitable only if these are bulk deliveries, not one-time shipments.
In September of 2018, Manturov told reporters that Russia and Zambia had signed a contract for the supply of a single SSJ 100 aircraft (in its VIP version). At that time, the parties also discussed the supply of four more SSJ 100s.