Bombardier confirms talks with Russians on local production

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Bombardier Aerospace confirms it is in contact with Russian officials about the possibility of starting local production.

"We're having in this preliminary stage discussions with Russian-based entities," Bombardier says.

The Canadian airframer declines to identify which aircraft or components could be involved, but local reports quote named Russian government officials saying the discussions concern final assembly of the Q400 turboprop and a role in Bombardier's global supply chain for other aircraft.

Bombardier says it is common for the company to discuss production opportunities with other countries, noting it already manufactures aircraft in Canada, Northern Ireland, Mexico, Morocco and the USA.

"The phone is ringing all the time at Bombardier," the company adds.

The Q400 was certificated in Russia earlier this year after completing a lengthy marketing tour of the country.

Bombardier considers Russia a strategic growth market for the Q400, as locally built replacements - the Antonov An-140 and Ilyushin Il-114 -- for hundreds of Antonov An-24s have failed to generate orders.

Bombardier's market forecast projects that Russian and former Soviet block carriers will acquire 460 70-seat airliners over the next 18 years, representing one-fifth of overall European demand.

It faces competition in the market from the ATR 72, which is operated by UTair. In August, Yakutia Airlines ordered four Q400s and 10 Q300s.