Ukraine green-lights Antonov venture in Kazakhstan

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Ukraine has endorsed a planned joint venture between state-owned airframer Antonov and a partner in Kazakhstan.

The project – initiated by Antonov and AeroKZ in 2011 – involves co-operation in the assembly of An-140 and An-148 regional airliners under licence at a designated site in Kapchagai near Almaty.

The parties are looking to start preparations in 2014, pending final approval by Kazakhstan's authorities, says Antonov chief designer Dmitry Kiva.

"The government has agreed to purchase our aircraft, if they are assembled locally," he says. "There is also an interest from local carriers. Their potential requirement is for at least 100 aircraft."

Antonov estimates the cost of the project at $150 million. "Once the intergovernmental agreement is in place, there will be no hindrances for proceeding with it," says Kiva. "In the near future, we'll transfer a portion of An-140 and An-148 technical documentation to AeroKZ."