Belarusian flag-carrier Belavia could become an early foreign operator of the Yakovlev MC-21, Russia’s United Aircraft has suggested.

United Aircraft pointed out, during a visit to the Irkutsk aviation plant by Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko, that Belavia has previously expressed interest in acquiring the type.

“We are interested in expanding the pool of potential operators, including Belavia,” said United Aircraft chief Yuri Slyusar.

“The more experience we have in different airlines’ operations, the better it will make our aircraft.”

mc-21 livery title-c-rostec

Source: Rostec

United Aircraft’s MC-21 is central to Russia’s domestic civil aviation programme

Belavia could become one of the first foreign carriers to use the twinjet type, the company adds, highlighting intentions to increase aerospace co-operation with Belarusian entities as Russian import-substitution efforts progress and production rates rise.

“We are increasing the production of Russian aircraft. We have repeatedly visited Belarusian aviation factories,” says Slyusar.

“It is important to move from the co-operation that we had on aircraft repair and military programmes to scaling up our tasks for civilian products.”

Slyusar says Belarusian aviation firms could potentially receive “billions of roubles” of orders. He indicates that the two sides are already working together on the Tupolev Tu-214, production of which is being revived to meet capacity demand from Russian operators.