Airbus offers Russia 5% share of A350 following national carrier's deal for 32 aircraft
Russia's United Aircraft (OAK) has signed a series of agreements with EADS that would see the Russian manufacturer become a risk-share partner on the Airbus A350 XWB programme and establish a joint venture to set up freighter conversion centres for Airbus A320 family aircraft.
The agreements come as Russian flag carrier Aeroflot signs a deal for 22 A350-800/900 XWBs and 10 A330-200s after an evaluation that included the Boeing 787. XWB deliveries are tentatively set to begin in 2015, with the A330s arriving on operating leases from the fourth quarter of next year to provide interim capacity.
Airbus has offered Russia a 5% airframe participation in the A350. EADS says discussions about which components of the aircraft will be designed and built in Russia are "still ongoing".
Aeroflot has ordered 22 A350-800/900 XWBs (pictured) and will take 10 A330-200s on lease from next year
The A320 agreement will see the two companies establish a joint venture to set up freighter conversion centres at Lukhovitsy near Moscow and in Dresden. A third agreement involves a joint study of the transport aircraft market by EADS and OAK, with the possibility for co-operation in this field.
OAK has also agreed to purchase Kaskol's stake in Moscow-based engineering centre ECAR, which was set up in 2004 by Airbus in co-operation with Kaskol.
The agreements were signed by EADS co-chief executive Tom Enders, Airbus chief operating officer Fabrice Bregier, EADS EFW chief executive Andreas Sperl and OAK president Alexey Fedorov, and are based on the findings of a top-level working group established at the end of last year.
Meanwhile, in response to a request from OAK, 32 Russian airlines have submitted letters of intent for 380 new passenger and cargo aircraft. The OAK invitation to operators came after the umbrella organisation, which is tasked with consolidating the Russian civil aerospace sector, announced its product strategy in February, which is based on a selected "model range" of Antonov, Ilyushin, Sukhoi and Tupolev types.
OAK expects about 500 such aircraft will be produced between now and 2012, which will be offered to the market on 15-year financial leases via special leasing companies Ilyushin-Finance and Finance Leasing.