Russian carrier Polet is understood to be in talks with American Eagle to lease 25 Saab 340 turboprops. Its aim is to become a fully fledged provider of regional services.

Although Polet deputy director Alexander Karpov declines to identify the party involved, industry sources confirm that the talks are being held with the US regional, which has 46 of the 34-seaters in storage, according to Flight's ACAS database.

American Eagle confirms that it is "exploring a number of options to try and find buyers for the Saab aircraft that we have retired", but declines to comment specifically on discussions with Polet.

The Russian carrier intends to sign a lease agreement this year, taking advantage of a duty-free tax break for importing aircraft under 50 seats, with delivery to begin next spring. Polet, which already operates Saab 2000s, wants to deploy the 340s on its routes from Voronezh and throughout a proposed wider regional network. "In particular, we could resume flights to Kursk and Lipetsk or offer regional services in Siberia where they are almost absent," says Karpov.

American Eagle Saab 340
 © American Airlines

Source: Flight International