Production of the stretched freighter variant of the Ilyushin Il-96 is well under way at VASO's plant in Voronezh, with delivery to launch customer Atlant-Soyuz expected next year.

The Il-96-400T (pictured below) is the first in a series to be produced and and is intended for Atlant-Soyuz Airlines, which also has one of the -300 variant. Volga-Dnepr has also signed a prelimiary contract for two -400Ts that has yet to be firmed up.

VASO is keen to ramp up production of the Il-96 and last year's produced six -300s for the Russian flag carrier Aeroflot, with three of the variant the year before including a VIP variant for the Cuban government.

Production of the -400 could significantly increase as the manufacturer has a letter or intent from China's Silk Way Airlines for -400Ts. The Russian National Reserve Bank and Sberbank, have opened credit lines to fund improvements to the plant, to enable VASO to produce 10 Il-96s and 40 Antonov An-148 regional jets annually.

iL-96-400t W445
© Vladimir Karnozov / Flight International 

Source: Flight International