Russian leasing company Ilyushin Finance (IFC) has ordered 31 Tupolev Tu-204SM airliners from United Aircraft Corporation (UAC). The 210-seater twinjets will be produced between 2010-12 at the Aviastar plant in Ulyanovsk.

The core contract is worth $1.5 billion at catalogue prices, is the launch order for the SM version of the twinjet, featuring improved Perm PS-90A2 turbofans, better avionics and onboard systems. This version will stay in production until it is replaced by next-generation MS-21 single-aisle narrowbody.

The deal also contains options for 30 more Tu-204SM airframes, which if firmed up will bring the value of the contract to $3bn. IFC hopes to win orders from international airlines for the aircraft, and says Iranian, Bulgarian and Brazilian airlines have expressed an interest in the Tu-204SM.

UAC president Aleksei Fiodorov says the IFC order is the biggest Tu-204 contact so far, and it gives UAC and the whole of the supply chain the opportunity to cut production costs and manage the production chain “in a better, more effective way”.

IFC - UAC signing 

Kazan-based KAPO will focus on manufacture of wing section for Aviastar, a decision that will allow streamlined airframe parts production and help cut down costs.
Tupolev president Igor Shevchuk says the current Tu-204-100/300 models will stay in production until 2010, when he expects the SM to win Russian certification.

He says eight Tu-204s will have been delivered by the end of the year: two Tu-204-300 extended range, short fuselage versions to Vladivostok Avia – one of which was delivered this week -  and six Tu-204-100Vs to Red Wings. Next year the production will double, with customers including Red Wings, Volga-Dnepr Group and Iran Airtour.

Source: Flight International