United Aircraft courts South Africa for Superjet, MS-21 commitments

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Russia's United Aircraft is exploring opportunities for exporting Sukhoi Superjet and Irkut MS-21 twinjets to South Africa.

Speaking at the BRICS summit in Durban, president Vladimir Putin identified aircraft engineering as an area for broader economic cooperation between the two countries.

A source in Putin's entourage says United Aircraft has initiated talks with a view to supplying MS-21s through Rostech-affiliated financial company Aviacapital Service.

He adds: "Discussions are also underway on the potential for supplying Superjets. There is a certain interest in this aircraft type as it is optimally suited to domestic routes here."

The source expects South African counterparts to make a decision on the matter later this year, following the Superjet's entry into service with Mexican carrier Interjet.