SyrianAir, the country’s national flag carrier has been involved in talks with Russia over the purchase of MC-21 passenger jets, the airline’s CEO, Talal Abdulkarim, told pro-government news outlet Sputnik on Thursday.
“Some time ago, we contacted the Russian side directly to discuss a purchase of MC-21 jets. Our company wants to be the first in buying these aircraft from this high-tech brand,” Abdulkarim said.
He also noted that this purchase would ensure that the airline’s flight program was implemented and expand SyrianAir‘s list of flight routes.
According to the official, the company is able to cover the costs of the aircraft, the technical characteristics of which, including seating capacity, meet its needs.
The information echoes the statement by Syrian Transport Minister Ali Hammoud, who said in early November that Syria was interested in renewing the country’s aircraft fleet by purchasing Russian MC-21s.
MC-21 jets are developed by the Irkut Corporation. Assembly lines for the serial production of MC-21s are currently being set up. The passenger plane has a capacity of 130-220 passengers. The first MC-21-300 was rolled out in June 2016 and made its maiden flight in May 2017.
Last October, the test plane made its first long-haul flight from Irkutsk, Siberia to Zhukovsky, outside Moscow, flying a distance of over 4,300 km.
Since the jet’s unveiling, over 200 MC-21s have been ordered by Russian airlines, including Aeroflot, IrAero and Red Wings.