Russian lessor Ilyushin Finance has expanded and moved a step closer to finalising an 18-month-old commitment to buy up to 42 Bombardier CSeries twinjets.
Ilyushin Finance has now signed a purchase agreement for 32 CS300s with an option for 10 more of the same type, with a combined list price of $3.42 billion.
The deal, which still must be approved by the lessor's shareholders, adds two potential firm orders and 10 options to the original deal signed at the MAKS airshow near Moscow in August 2011.
The firm order backlog for the CSeries remains at 148 aircraft, while the number of commitments increases to 234 aircraft.
Alexander Rubstov, director general at Ilyushin Finance, says he is most impressed by the CSeries' transcontinental range, runway performance and cabin design.
He adds that the CSeries 110-149-seat configuration is placed between the Sukhoi Superjet and Irkut MS-21. Ilyushin Finance has expressed interest in buying the Superjet and has ordered 28 MS-21s.
Bombardier, meanwhile, considers Russia an ideal market for the CSeries, with its vast geographic profile.
"This is a landmark opportunity for Bombardier Aerospace and its CSeries aircraft," says Mike Arcamone, president of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.