Privately owned Tajik carrier Somon Air and Russia’s VTB Leasing have signed a memorandum of cooperation that should lead to sealing an early 2020 agreement for the delivery of two Embraer E190-E2 jets to the country’s prime airline.
The VTB press office has specified to ATO.ru, Russian Aviation Insider’s sister publication, that delivery of the aircraft is planned as early as January and February 2020. The aircraft will be supplied on seven-year financial leases in a deal valued at US$60 million.
The lease finance project was announced at the on-going ‘Russia Calling!’ VTB Capital investment Moscow forum.
The fact that the Dushanbe-based carrier was interested in the Brazilian-made aircraft first became known in the spring of 2018. The airline has been considering the acquisition of four E190-E2s, with first deliveries planned by the end of 2019.
It is assumed that the new aircraft will replace the Somon Air fleet’s two ageing 1989 and 1993-vintage Boeing 737-300s.
“VTB Leasing… has experience in structuring financial or operational leasing transactions of any complexity with the participation of Russian and foreign companies,” Dmitry Ivanter, VTB Leasing’s general director, stated.
“We are glad to cooperate with the VTB Leasing Company which is such a leader in our industry and we express the hope for the further development of our partnership which is aimed, first of all, at improvements and the quality of our air carriage,” said Thomas W Hallam II, chief executive of Somon Air.
Currently, the fleet of Somon Air, which was accepted as a member of IATA in 2017, consists of six aircraft, including two 148-seater Boeing 737-300s, two 189-seater B737-800s and two 184-seater B737-900s. The carrier recently acquired one Airbus H125 helicopter.
Earlier this month, the hitherto all-Boeing operator Somon Air signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Airbus under which it intends to acquire another five European-designed helicopters: one H125 helicopter, two H130s and two H175s and – which is especially interesting – the acquisition of “the latest Airbus family of aircraft” direct from the manufacturer.
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