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An-140 bags Libyan order

VLADIMIR KARNOZOV / PARIS

Deal agreed at Paris air show is second international order for 50-seat turboprop

Ukraine's KhGAPP plant in Kharkov has secured a $45 million order for five An-140s from Air Libya. This is the second export order for the 50-seat turboprop.

The deal was concluded at last month's Paris air show, where an AeroMost-Kharkov An-140 was on display. Deliveries to Air Libya are due to start in the middle of next year, with the first aircraft to be handed over seven months after KhGAPP receives the pre-payment. The remaining aircraft will be delivered at three-month intervals. The contract also covers crew training and establishing maintenance and spares centres in Libya.

Air Libya, which was set up in 1992, operates four AntonovAn-24/26s, a Tupolev Tu-134 and nine Yakovlev Yak-40s, as well as 12 agricultural aircraft. Air Libya also provides Ilyushin Il-76 freighter services in the region in conjunction with Russian and Ukrainian carriers.

Air Libya joins Iran as an export customer for the An-140, with the latter planning to assemble 80 aircraft locally under the IrAn-140 designation. KhGAPP plans to assemble six An-140s and two VIP-configured An-74TK-300s this year, and supply four IrAn-140 kits to Iran. KhGAPP production will next year increase by 50%, says general director Pavel Naumenko.

The Kharkov plant is talking to Ukraine's UkrTransLizing, Russia's Ilyushin-Finance and unnamed European banks about structuring operating leases for An-140 customers, which Naumenko expects would boost the aircraft's appeal to small airlines.

Five An-140s have been delivered to three operators - AeroMost-Kharkov, Motor-SichAvia and Odessa Airlines. As well as the Kharkov and Iranian assembly lines, An-140 production is being set up at Russia's Aviacor plant in Samara, with the first aircraft due to be rolled out by year-end.

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