Rossiya special aircraft division will acquire two Аn-148 aircraft in 2012. The contract on delivery of two Аn-148s in VIP-configuration has been signed by Department for Presidental Affairs of RF last December, Izvestiya reports.
Rossiya special aircraft division, which is servicing the highest officials of the country, will acquire the first two Russian short-haul Аn-148 jets this year. They will replace Тu-134s.
The contract on delivery of two Аn-148s has been signed by Department for Presidental Affairs (DPA) of RF in December, a source close to the aircraft industry said. The DPA’s press-secretary, Viktor Khrekov, has confirmed the signing of contract, but denied any further comments with reference to level of sensitivity connected with the application of these jets. United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) has denied any comments about the deal with DPA too (with reference to the same reasons).
The source noted that both aircraft will have VIP-cabin thus they will be intended directly for the top officials of the state. The first aircraft should be delivered in 2012 and the second jet will be delivered next year. However, it is possible that both aircraft will be delivered to the customer in 2012, the source believes.
An-148 aircraft are manufactured by Voronezh aviation plant, which has a vast experience of manufacturing aircraft for the special aircraft division. At present it is manufacturing four long-haul Il-96-300s, ordered by DPA. «The reliability of An-148 jets has significantly increased during two years of operation along with the flight safety factor, - press-service of UAC noted. «In spite of some problems on the initial stages, now the jets demonstrate solid flight time. The current average monthly flight time per jet is 320 hours. On the average, an aircraft performs 3 pair flights per day (sometimes 4 pair flights). At that the jet demonstrates its efficiency on routes with different length», - he added.
At present these jets perform flights on 32 destinations, including 19 Russian cities, 10 far abroad ones and 3 CIS Region countries.
The fleet of Rossiya special aircraft division includes the following indigenous aircraft: Il-96-З00, Тu-214, Тu-204, Il-18, Il-62, Тu-154, Тu-134, Yak-40, Yak-42. According to Viktor Khrekov, the complete modernization of the whole fleet is currently underway: all the outdated aircraft will be put out of operation by 2015. The representative of DPA does not exclude that indigenous regional Sukhoi SuperJet aircraft may be acquired in future. «The Superjet should pass the running in. There are rules saying that new jets should be operated for at least two years before we can acquire them».
The schedule of order placing issued by DPA says that an order on three Tu-214SR aircraft should be placed in 2012. The jets should be delivered in December 2015. The special aircraft division has also acquired some foreign aircraft: two Airbus A319s have been ordered. Two Italian Augusta helicopters have also been purchased. Two Falcon 7X business-jets are currently operated. No other foreign aircraft will be acquired, Khrekov said.