A recent marketing tour of Siberia by the Antonov An-140 has paid off, with three local airlines planning to acquire the new regional turboprop

The sales tour was made this year after the An-140 underwent cold weather certification tests in Siberia. The three airlines - Tyumenaviatrans, Polar Airlines and Mirny air transport enterprise - say they wish to buy or lease the An-140 to upgrade their fleets.

During the cold weather tests, the aircraft was operated in temperatures as low as -55°C. The certification programme has been completed and the design bureau is submitting the test results to CIS certification authority ARMAK. The manufacturer believes certification should be issued in May, clearing the way for deliveries to begin to Ukrainian carrier Ikar Airlines in mid-2000.

Series production of the 52-seater has started at Samara, Russia, and Kharkov, Ukraine.

Source: Flight International