Syrianair to Order Russian Regional Aircrafts /Syria Report 4-7-2012
Syrianair is finalizing discussions with a Russian manufacturer to buy new regional aircrafts, its general manager, Ghaidaa AbdulLatif, said.
In a press statement Mrs AbdulLatif said that discussions were ongoing to buy three Antonov AN148-100E aircrafts, which have a range of 4,400 kilometres and can carry up to 75 passengers.
Two aircrafts are expected to be delivered immediately after the contract is signed in the coming few weeks, while a third one will be delivered in the second half of next year, she added. The plane is produced by the Voronezh Aircraft Plant, which is affiliated to the state-owned United Aircraft Corporation.
Because of sanctions imposed by the American administration in 2004, Syria has been unable to purchase aircrafts produced by any of the two largest world manufacturers, Airbus and Boeing – Airbus, a division of EADS, a European company, equips its planes with a significant amount of American-made equipment, including engines, banning it from selling aircrafts to Syrianair.
The Syrian national air carrier has had to scale down its ambition to expand its fleet following the sanctions. It has instead contracted with ATR, a French-Italian manufacturer, to buy three regional aircrafts, while lengthy discussions have been ongoing with Russian producers, including Ilyushin and Tupolev, which are also part of the United Aircraft Corporation group.
Doubts on the safety record of Russian-made planes have, however, regularly prevented the signing of any contract, although in September of last year, Syrianair inked a Memorandum of Understanding for the purchase of three upgraded medium range Tupolev TU-204 SM planes.
Meanwhile, in a statement on its website Syrianair has announced that starting June 15, it has resumed weekly flights to all of Berlin, Vienna, Madrid, Amsterdam and Bucharest.