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Russia considers Airbus co-operation package

EADS has submitted to the Russian government a package of proposals aimed at expanding the scope of co-operation on civil programmes between Russian industry and the European manufacturer.

Under the plans, Russia would become a risk-sharing partner in the Airbus A350, take the role of “lead partner” in a potential A320 passenger-to-freighter conversion programme and participate in possible development of an unspecified next-generation Airbus airliner, says Vadim Vlasov, general director of EADS’s Russian arm OOO EADS.

However, securing the work packages is likely to be dependent on Aeroflot selecting the A350 over the rival Boeing 787 to satisfy its requirement for up to 30 new long-range widebody twinjets.

Vlasov says the A320 conversion work could provide a “multi-billion dollar turnover” for Russian industry. “It is interesting work from the standpoint of economics and also requiring a considerable engineering and technological input,” he says. “There is a big chance that A320s coming in for freighter conversion will require D checks. If a Russian company is doing both conversions and D checks, it will mean extra earnings for the Russian industry.” Russia may also be given exclusive rights for converted A320 family aircraft delivered to CIS and Middle East operators.

VLADIMIR KARNOZOV/MOSCOW

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