Aeroflot is to acquire up to 15 Airbus A330s as a stopgap measure ahead of its much-delayed order for a new long-haul fleet, writes Tom Zaitsev.

Aeroflot's decision marks the latest twist in a long-running and heavily politically influenced saga surrounding the future composition of the fleet.

Both manufacturers, Airbus and Boeing,  have put forward proposals, but Aeroflot sources say talks between the carrier and Boeing over the 787 are suspended.

The airline confirms it is actively seeking up to 15 secondhand widebodies. "Over the next 18 months, there are no slots at Airbus for building aircraft to our order," it says.

Aeroflot hopes to take delivery of two A330s this year and add three more in 2008, says fleet development chief Sergei Koltovich.

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Source: Flight International