This year's show has seen a flurry of activity around Irkut's new MS-21 twinjet, which has racked up orders from Ilyushin Finance, Russian lessor VEB-Lizing and Malaysian investment firm Crecom Burj.

On Tuesday Ilyushin Finance signed a deal for 28 MS-21s, with options on 22 more, and VEB-Lizing committed to 15 of the type with 15 options. Then, on Wednesday, fledgling lessor Crecom boosted the tally with its 50-aircraft order.

Privately owned Crecom, in particular, has ambitions of a full-on partnership with Irkut. It is seeking exclusive regional marketing rights for the MS-21 and is looking to mastermind a regional support centre for the MS-21 family with the aim of boosting Malaysia's aerospace industry.

Crecom was created only a year ago and is an industry newcomer. Is aiming to place the aircraft on dry lease and give its customers an option to buy at the end of a set period. It has no other aircraft and is not in negotiations for any more at present.

Chief executive Mohamad Isa Abdullah says: "For Irkut, we want to be the only player in the region. I don't want to have to compete with other MS-21 suppliers. We are asking for marketing and distribution rights. As a minimum, we are looking for the seven members of the ASEAN, part of South-East Asia and some other less developed areas. Once they say the market is ours, it should be ours, not only for leasing, but also for purchases."

It is also looking to partner Irkut to offer MS-21 technical support and all types of training for the region. Mohamad Isa says this could later be extended to include parts manufacturing and a final assembly line.

"We intend to finalise an industrial and technological co-operation agreement to provide MS-21 related services in the near future. It has been included as part of the supply contract. This would be us paving the way for other companies within the country; most likely it [the provider] would not be us," he says.

Irkut is expecting to secure up to 100 MS-21 orders this year. Entry into service is scheduled for 2016.

Source: Flight Daily News