VASO hands over two new Il-96s

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Russian airframer VASO has handed over two new Ilyushin Il-96s, a passenger version and a freighter, to their respective customers.

The first, an Il-96-300 with registration RA-96019, has been delivered to Russia's presidential aviation division.

It is the fourth of the type - alongside numbers 96012, 96016 and 96018 - to be acquired by the ministerial transport arm and will replace completely the Ilyushin Il-62 fleet.

Voronezh-based VASO has also delivered an Il-96-400T freighter, number RA-96101, to Polet. The carrier is to take three of the type this year.

Over the past year and a half, Russia's United Aircraft Corporation says it has invested Rb6.9 billion ($205 million) in VASO including Rb3.3 billion in the Antonov An-148 regional jet programme.

It plans to provide another Rb7.5 billion in funding for serial production of the An-148 this year. VASO says deliveries of the serially-produced jets will start this year, and that the programme will be "key" to its long-term business.