Russian flag-carrier Aeroflot is negotiating with the Russian government to secure special terms for the acquisition of seven Airbus A321s to supplement its 18-strong A320 fleet.

The government refused to extend the exemption of import tax (20%) and VAT (18%) granted earlier for a total of 27 Western passenger jets. Aeroflot, however, is trying to trade its pending commitment to the Russian Regional Jet (RRJ) programme for, if not tax exemption, “then, at least, favourable tax terms”, says Sergei Kharitonov, Aeroflot deputy general director.

Aeroflot is ready to sign a memorandum of understanding with Airbus for the A321s “within a month”, and a framework agreement with Sukhoi on the RRJ within two to three months. How­­ever, Kharitinov adds, the RRJ has not officially been selected over the rival Antonov An-148.

Kharitonov says Aeroflot is negotiating with Boeing and lessor ILFC on the “replacement at some point in future” of nine 767-300ERs with 787s.

Source: Flight International