Rostekhnologii planning to take up to 85 737s

Moscow
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Russian corporation Rostekhnologii has increased its acquisition plan for Boeing 737 aircraft to 85 jets although it is keeping the firm part at 50 airframes.

The state holding company has signed an agreement covering the purchase with Boeing at an international investment forum in Sochi.

It covers the supply of 50 737s in -700, -800 and -900 variants and the company confirms it is placing options for 35, up from the originally planned 15 aircraft.

The entire batch is slated for Aeroflot's expanding operation following the planned transfer of six regional carriers to its corporate fold. Delivery is scheduled to take place in 2013-17. The deal is worth $3.7 billion at catalogue prices.

Selection of the 737 marks a "significant step forward in enhancing the competitiveness" of the country's air transport industry, says Rostekhnologii.

Rostekhnologii senior official Roman Pakhomov says the agreement envisages discounts and suggests financing by the US Exim Bank under Russian sovereign guarantees. The corporation is planning to set up an in-house leasing subsidiary to handle the Boeing deal. It has tentatively tapped Pakhomov as its chief.