Aeroflot keen on Russian-built Q400s for Aurora

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Aeroflot has signalled an interest in equipping its newly formed far-eastern subsidiary Aurora with locally assembled Bombardier Q400 turboprops.

The airline, says its general director Vitaly Savelyev, has taken notice of the project being pursued by Russian state corporation Rostec, which is seeking to localise Q400 assembly work within the framework of a joint venture with Bombardier.

He adds: "If they manage to do that, we'll only welcome this. Aurora's fleet is to be upgraded with aircraft similar to the Q400. If such equipment is built in Russia, acquiring it from Rostec cannot but be cheaper for us."

Many of the details of the tentative agreement between Rostec and Bombardier are still being worked out. But if terms are reached, Rostec and its leasing arm Aviakapital Service have also signed a letter of intent and a market-development agreement to purchase a total of 100 Q400s, valued at $3.4 billion.

Alongside six Bombardier Dash 8-200/300s, Aurora has inherited from Sakhalin Airways five Antonov An-24 turboprops, which are in storage.