Antonov will sign an agreement with Russian lessor Ilyushin Finance for 10 more An-158s during the show, and is seeking certification for the aircraft in India to turn interest from Indian companies into sales.

The An-158, which flew at Farnborough in 2010, is making its Paris air show debut this week.

Antonov deputy chief designer Sergey Fedorov said the company has reached a "protocol of intention" with undisclosed Indian companies which have expressed an interest in the aircraft.

"We are validating it in the Indian market. After this we will have the possibility to sell it in India," said Fedorov.

The An-158 has a range of 1,350nm (2,500km) and is capable of accommodating up to 99 passengers. The aircraft, which was certificated by Russian airworthiness authorities in February 2011, is capable of conducting ICAO Category IIIa approaches.

Its engines are 1.85m (6.1ft) off the ground, meaning that it can land on unpaved airfields, said Fedorov.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news