The Russian flag carrier Aeroflot has placed orders for 339 Russian built aircraft, following the sanctions placed on the country after its invasion of Ukraine. It is the airline’s largest single order since the fall of the Soviet Union and a symbolic shift, in a move away from western built types which had increased in popularity amongst Russian carriers.
The Aeroflot order consists of the following aircraft types, all manufactured by subsidiaries of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC): 210 Irkut MC-21 single-aisle airliners, 89 SSJ 100 regional jets and 40 Tupolev Tu-214 medium range single-aisle aircraft. Deliveries are scheduled to take place between 2023 and 2030.
The Irkut MC-21 is a newly developed single-aisle, twin-engined medium range aircraft which is designed to compete with the Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 Max family jets. It is currently in its flight test phase and is yet to enter service with any airline. There are 2 variants of the aircraft, which was designed by the Yakovlev Design Bureau: the smaller MC-21-200 which can seat up to 165 passengers and the larger MC-21-300 with capacity for up to 211 seats.
The aircraft was originally offered (and has been flight testing) with two engine options, the Russian Aviadvigatel PD-14 and the western Pratt & Whitney PW1000G turbofans. Given the current global relations with Russia, it is very safe to say that the aircraft will now be solely offered with the PD-14. Whilst there will now likely be delays to the programs timeframe, the aircraft was due to enter service in 2024.
Designed to compete with the likes of the Embraer E190 family of regional jets, the Sukhoi SuperJet (SSJ100) entered service in 2011 with Armavia. More than 20 of the type have been built and are operated by a number of carriers, the vast majority of which are Russian. The aircraft can seat up to 108 passengers.
A modernised version of the Tupolev Tu-204 (which first flew in 1989), the Tu-214 has often been referred to as the ‘Russian Boeing 757’, with similar configuration and design, even being offered with the same Rolls-Royce RB211 engines, in an attempt to appeal to western customer airlines. A number of heavily modified airframes are operated by the Russian Air Force for special missions, including reconnaissance, ELINT and SIGINT (electronic and signals intelligence) and VIP transport. Up until 2019, only 89 airframes had been built (of both the Tu-204 and Tu-214 models).
Matt is a London-based writer and reporter for International Flight Network who has been involved in aviation from a very young age. He has a particular focus on aircraft safety, accidents and technical details.