Russia could drop Tu-334 from governmental role

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Russia's governmental air detachment could abandon the Tupolev Tu-334 after opting to revisit its choice of aircraft to replace its Tupolev Tu-134s.

United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) says the presidential administration has requested it to submit relevant proposals before 1 May.

A spokesman for UAC says these will cover all three similar-sized models in its product line: the Antonov An-148, Sukhoi Superjet 100 and Tupolev Tu-334.

Two years ago the Government placed an order for six new Tu-334s in specialised configurations, including four VIP aircraft and two units to accomodate security details and government communications.

The Government chose the Tu-334 over the An-148 and Sukhoi Superjet because it had no non-domestically produced components.

But the twin-jet has yet to prove its reliability in commercial service, having attracted little interest from airlines. This has left serial production of the type at the Kazan-based KAPO factory in doubt. Only a pair of Tu-334s are operable.