Russia's prime minister Mikhail Kasyanov is expected shortly to sign a government order issuing state guarantees against a $110 million bank loan covering the production of 10 TupolevTu-204s by Aviastar at Ulyanovsk.

Government-owned Vnesheconombank will finance the production, which will become a pilot project for a leasing scheme for Russia's aircraft industry.

Moscow-based Transaero will take the 10 Tu-204s on lease, with the first three aircraft due for delivery this year, and the remainder following in 2001/2002.

Source: Flight International