Ilyushin Finance Co. (IFC) says it is going to complete negotiations with Red Wings on 44 Tu-204SM aircraft in February so as to sign a firm order in March 2011.
Russia’s largest aircraft lessor, Ilyushin Finance has previously placed Tu-204-100 aircraft with Cubana, Air Koryo and Red Wings, Tu-204-300s with Vladivostok Avia and Air Koryo. Besides, IFC leases three Tu-214s (Tu-204-200s) to Transaero.
Red Wings already operates a fleet of Tu-204-100 and Tu-204-100V jetliners, to which it added one more airframe in 2010. It is the only operator of the Tu-204-100V version, the most recent mutation of the baseline Tu-204-100 model in production at Aviastar-SP. The plant has several “white-tale” Tu-204-100C/120C freighters. These have been on offer for more than a year after intended customer Volga-Dnepr had rejected them.
Ilyushin Finance says the recent decision by Sergei Ivanov to support the Tu-204SM project is instrumental. It gives the airlines more assurance and allows the lessor to negotiate with the carriers on further deliveries of Russian-made narrow body jetliners.