Airframer says it is in “bidding contest” with Boeing to be selected to forge partnership as industry consolidates

Western manufacturers are seeking roles in the restructuring of Russia’s fragmented aerospace sector as it comes together under a single entity – United Aircraft Company (UAC – Russian acronym OAK). Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a decree last week calling for the creation of the company.

Speaking at Asian Aerospace in Singapore, Airbus chief executive Gustav Humbert said that, together with parent EADS, the company is in talks with Russian industry and the Russian government to have a partnership role related to the restructuring.

Humbert says Airbus has been in talks with Russian industry and the government for some time and classifies it as a competition with Boeing. “For the time being there is a bidding contest between our competitor and us who will be the partner of the to-be-restructured UAC. President Putin has just signed a decree that the aircraft industry will be restructured under the UAC, so it is interesting which partner – an American partner or a European partner – [will] work together with this United Aircraft Company,” he says.

Boeing says it would not characterise its involvement with Russian industry as a bidding contest, and says it is “already there. We’ve had ties with Russia since the Soviet era and have over 1,000 engineers in Moscow working on top-level projects.”

Airbus submitted its proposals to Russian industry and the Russian government “some months ago”, says Humbert, envisioning “working together in the field of the A350, [and] in the field of an all-new aircraft which is possible beyond 2015”.

He says Airbus sees “the possibility for freighter conversion of single-aisle aircraft” with Russian partners. “There are a lot of things to do with Russia and the capacities over there,” Humbert adds, noting that if all Airbus proposals are taken up, it could generate more than $20 billion in revenue over 20 years. “Now it is up to the Russian side with whom to go and which parts that we have put on the table that they may want to go with,” he says.


Moscow aims to create aerospace giant

Under plans revealed early this year, assets of more than a dozen Russian aerospace companies are to be brought together under UAC, which will focus initially on two programmes, the Sukhoi Russian Regional Jet and the Yakovlev-led MS-21 narrowbody airliner.
The government decree specifi es that the state holding should be equal to or higher than 75% and then
be reduced to 51% by selling stakes to private investors.It also prescribes the de-nationalisation of design bureau RSK MiG and the KAPO production plant by turning them into  shareholders’ companies (initially with 100% state
ownership), before ultimately becoming part of UAC.Although the presidential decree does not specify the organisations being merged, it refers to 19 “governmentlisted” enterprises. The Russian government hopes that combined, the listed aircraft manufacturers will have the power to increase their annual turnover from some $3-3.5 billion to $8.5 billion by 2015.

Source: Flight International