Putin Backs State Company Investment in Passenger Plane Production

Russian President Vladimir Putin has welcomed the Industry and Trade Ministry’s proposal that implies that Rostec will finance the MC-21 aircraft project, the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday.

“Yes, I can confirm it,” he said, according to TASS agency.

Earlier, Kommersant business daily said with reference to sources that president had welcomed the initiative of the Minister Denis Manturov to make sure that Russia’s state-owned corporation provides funds for the project to construct a medium-haul passenger plane.

The company would invest $534 million in another state-owned giant, United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), for the MC-21 project in 2018-2020, the paper wrote, adding that this will be the first step for Rostec towards taking over UAC.

The MC-21 aircraft has been developed by the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC, incorporating Irkut) on the basis of Yak-242 type by the Yakovlev Design. The MC-21 airplane has been readily embraced by the aircraft market, where Russian officials hope it can compete against similar Boeing and Airbus aircraft, “outdoing them in price, fuel efficiency and passenger comfort.”

It will come in two configurations MC-21-200 (seating 132 to 165) and MC-21-300 (passenger capacity ranging from 163 to 211). At the moment work is proceeding only on the MC-21-300 model, which performed its maiden flight at the end of May last year.

Aircraft manufacturing is an important industrial sector in Russia, employing around 355,300 people. The dissolution of the Soviet Union led to a deep crisis for the industry, especially for the civilian aircraft segment.

The situation started improving during the middle of the first decade of the 2000s due to growth in air transportation and increasing demand. A consolidation program launched in 2005 led to the creation of the United Aircraft Corporation holding company, which includes most of the industry’s key companies.