Russia's KrasAvia in talks to lease An-148s and Tu-204s

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United Aircraft has signed a tentative deal with the Krasnoyarsk region to supply a batch of new Antonov and Tupolev passenger aircraft to the locally-based airline KrasAvia.

The manufacturer's in-house lessor Ilyushin Finance has entered into focused negotiations with the local government which is prepared to invest in KrasAvia.

Ilyushin Finance director Alexander Rubtsov says: "At this point, we're discussing financial lease of 15 An-148s and two Tu-204s with delivery starting from 2011.

"KrasAvia has requested authorities to provide guarantees for the contract and we expect them to make appropriate provisions in the regional budget this year."

The framework co-operation agreement between United Aircraft and the regional government is aligned with a programme to develop air transport in the vast region which they consider underserved.

Apart from equipping KrasAvia with An-148s and Tu-204SMs, it envisages setting up training and maintenance facilities for these aircraft types in Krasnoyarsk.

KrasAvia has three Tu-154s and three Yakovlev Yak-42s as well as several Antonov An-24 turboprops used primarily on the intra-regional routes.

Alexander Zosimov has been appointed as the carrier's general director. Previously he was a local representative of Moscow-based airline Atlant-Soyuz and director for operations at the defunct KrasAir.