Design bureau wants aircraft built in Russia so that carriers can avoid import taxes

Ilyushin has sought approval from the Russian government to transfer Il-76MF/TF production from the TAPO plant in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, to the Russian VASO factory in Voronezh to allow Russian airlines to avoid import taxes.

According to sources at the Ilyushin design bureau, the request follows a discussion with Alexei Raevski, director-general of Russian cargo carrier East Line Airlines. The airline, which is a major Il-76 operator, has become the first commercial customer for the civil TF version of the new generation, Aviadvigatel PS-90-powered Il-76 model, with confirmation of an order for two aircraft. However, Raevski is reluctant to pay the 44% import duties and value added tax that would be incurred if the aircraft is built by TAPO in Uzbekistan.

Russian taxes are payable on all aircraft imports, even from CIS countries, unless airlines have a presidential exemption. These have only been issued to two airlines, Aeroflot and Transaero. No further exemptions will be granted.

TAPO also builds the Il-114 turboprop and Russian airline Vyborg Avia, the country's first operator of the type, has complained about the taxes. Ilyushin is considering a relocation of this line from Tashkent.

According to Raevski, it will take about five years to set up a new production line at the VASO plant, which is part of the Ilyushin Aviation Complex. VASO, responsible for production of the Il-96 widebody, has recently been placed under the management of Ilyushin Finance by the Russian government after a long period of little progress in its production lines.

Ilyushin has also been included in the Russian ministry of transport tender for the supply of up to 200 regional aircraft (Flight International, 19-25 November). Its bid is based around the 40-seat Il-112 turboprop, the Il-114 and the Il-214 twinjet.

Source: Flight International