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Russian ministry outlines demand forecast for MC-21

Russia's government is estimating demand Irkut MC-21s over the next 20 years will reach four figures, following the maiden flight of the type.

Trade and industry minister Denis Manturov says that, given the twinjet's economic performance, favourable financing, and the development of effective aftersales support and logistics, the airframer could supply over 1,000 MC-21s to 2037.

"The programme incorporates the best technologies, industrial practices and design solutions to date," he says, referring to the aircraft's "unique" wings – manufactured from composite materials.

Manturov claims the MC-21 will be able to cut airlines' operating costs by 12-15% compared with contemporaries.

"We will continue to support the MC-21 project, helping to establish effective mechanisms to promote our new aircraft – both in the domestic and foreign markets," he says.

Airbus's most recent global market forecast put the Russia and CIS demand for new aircraft at 1,200 airframes in the two decades to 2035, including 1,000 in the single-aisle category.

The 20-year global demand for aircraft in the MC-21's sector is around 15,000, says the Russian trade ministry.

Russia's United Aircraft says the MC-21 has secured 175 firm orders, a figure which has stayed constant for the past few years. Aeroflot is among the customers, with a plan to take 50.

"We believe the reliability, increased comfort of the aircraft, and its other features will be appreciated by airlines," says United Aircraft chief Yuri Slyusar.

Manturov says the experience obtained through the MC-21 programme will "strengthen" Russia's position in the global aerospace market.

The MC-21 is entering a flight-test and certification regime which will meet Russian and international standards, he adds.

Irkut has already started the process of seeking European Aviation Safety Agency certification for the Pratt & Whitney PW1400G-powered aircraft.

Representatives of Irkut and the Russian federal air transport certification authority met with EASA counterparts in Cologne during 19-21 April, a preliminary gathering to inform the European officials about the new aircraft.

Federal air transport regulator Rosaviatsia says EASA received presentations on the structure of the MC-21, the process of its development and production, and the planned schedule for Russian and European certification.

EASA is set to receive more in-depth data about the aircraft during a follow-up meeting set to take place in Moscow in June.

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