FARNBOROUGH: Irkut chief says first flight of MS-21 airliner pushed back to 2015

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Irkut has confirmed that first flight of its MS-21 narrowbody has been pushed back until mid-2015.

Speaking at the Farnborough air show, Irkut president Alexey Fedorov says it had been delayed because the manufacturer is not due to receive its first PW1400G engines from Pratt & Whitney until the beginning of 2015.

P&W first revealed the development slip in a press release issued on 5 June, although did not elaborate on the reason for the delay.

However, Fedorov says the MS-21 is still on track for service entry in 2017.

With a number of variants of the type proposed by Irkut, including the longer-range -400 and the -200 shrink, Fedorov says for the time being the short- to medium-range MS-21-300 "is the priority, as this aircraft has the most interest from airlines", having accumulated around 75% of all orders.

Russia, CIS countries, India and southern Asia will be the main markets for the type, says Federov.