Aeroflot negotiates purchase of 22 new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Russian flag carrier Aeroflot has negotiated the purchase of 22 new Boeing 787 Dreamliners, an aircraft Boeing currently has under development. The first jets will be delivered in 2014. The Dreamliner will be the first commercial jet to be manufactured mainly with carbon-fiber composites instead of the aluminium previously used.
The deal was announced during a large business forum that President Vladimir Putin had set up to showcase his country's role in the international market. The deal was the centrepiece of the event.
The sale is the result of a deal begun between Aeroflot and Chicago-based Boeing last year, but negotiations had stalled due to worsening relations between the US and Russia. Aeroflot has suffered as a result of the delay. If had the sale gone through last year, the aircraft would have been delivered by 2011.
The aircraft have a pre-modification catalogue value of US$3.5 billion, although neither of the companies involved would reveal the actual agreement reached between the two firms.
When asked whether the deal should be seen as a step towards a resolution of the rift between Russia and the US, Boeing Executive Vice President Scott Carson replied, "It represents a business relationship between our Company and Aeroflot, and I'm really proud of it,". Boeing has had a policy of Russian involvement dating back to the early 1990s. More recently, Boeing has entered into an agreement with Russian manufacturer Sukhoi for worldwide marketing and after-sales support for their regional aircraft, the Superjet, and have reached a deal with Kremlin-owned Unified Aircraft for general co-operation. They also have a Moscow design centre that has 1,400 employees and a 30-year contract for supply of titanium parts with Russia's VSMPO-Avisma, which Boeing estimates to be worth $18 million.
It has been reported that the deal between Boeing and Aeroflot was revived after Boeing promised that technical assistance would be provided to Aeroflot for the new aircraft. Aeroflot's current fleet of Boeing and Airbus aircraft was built during the Soviet era. Aeroflot say that the deal does not affect plans to purchase new Airbuses at a later date for later delivery.