Russia's NPO Irkut (formerly Irkutsk Aircraft Production Organisation) says it is awaiting a reply from Fairchild Dornier's administrator over its bid to buy the bankrupt company's 728 regional jet programme. However, it is understood administrators believe Irkut's bid is no longer valid because it includes an offer for Fairchild's Airbus components business, which has been sold to another party.

The components business, along with the production facilities for the 728 and Fairchild's maintenance and spare parts division, were sold to Switzerland's RUAG on 20 December (Flight International, 31 December-6 January). A source at Fairchild indicates that if Irkut still wants the 728, it must amend its bid.

Irkut originally bid jointly with Basic Element to acquire Fairchild Dornier in its entirety. In December it changed its bid to exclude the 328JET regional jet business. The Russians were reportedly ready to invest $250 million if cleared to buy the 728 and Airbus components businesses, although German sources estimated the required investment to be $750 million.

"We are disappointed with [receiver] Eberhard Braun's Airbus decision," says an Irkut source. "Our main goal has been to establish ties with the German aerospace industry, but it seems the Germans lack the political will to make steps from their side."

Source: Flight International