Aeroflot’ board of directors voted to abandon the plan of direct purchase of 22 Boeing 787 wide-body aircraft. According to the board meeting report of September 8, shareholders of Russia’s largest airline will consider ceding the purchase rights for the aircraft to the Russian lessor Avia Capital Services, a subsidiary of state-owned Rostec corporation. The deal value at the time the original contract for the Boeing 787-8 was signed, was estimated at $3.6 billion (based on the catalog price of the aircraft).
It is more than likely that the actual purpose of the move is not to refuse to use the aircraft altogether, but to reduce the direct financial burden on the company. Presumably Avia Capital Services will later hand over the Boeings to Aeroflot via leasing schemes. Previously, the airline already received single-aisle Boeing 737s from this lessor. Russia’s flagship carrier may also receive MC-21 aircraft through Avia Capital Services.
The agreement to purchase Boeing 787s signed by Aeroflot in 2007, has long remained a matter of debate. Early on, the delivery terms were postponed (the initial plan called for the delivery to take place by the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014), later on Aeroflot’s management made contradictory statements about the future of the contract.
According to recent reports, Boeing 787s were to be delivered in 2017-2019.
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