Icelandair Technical Services has signed a three-year contract with Russian start-up I Fly for its four Boeing 757-200s.

The deal - worth around $110 million - is for line maintenance at Moscow Vnukovo Airport although the carrier confirms it is also close to inking an agreement for 757 spare parts.

"There is a lot of demand, even though there is a recession, for Western aircraft in Russia," says Icelandair Technical Services senior vice-president Jens Bjarnason.

"Western companies are reluctant to lease their aircraft into Russia unless there is a Western-type maintenance system. We see this as a huge potential."

The 757 aircraft are from International Lease Finance (ILFC) and were originally delivered to Iberia.

Moscow-based freight carrier Shar Inc will provide crew and ground personnel for the airline. I Fly will operate charter flights for Russian travel company Tez Tour.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news