Airbus to cooperate with Russia in building new aircraft

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PARIS, October 7 (RIA Novosti) - The European aircraft manufacturer Airbus S.A.S. intends to cooperate with Russia in developing its new A-350 passenger plane, the company's head said Friday.

Airbus has an engineering center in Russia, at which Russian specialists contributed to building the A-380, the world's largest passenger airliner, which made its maiden flight in April 2005. Airbus now intends to use these specialists to build certain components of the A-350, CEO Gustav Humbert said.

The company intends to work with the Russian United Aircraft Building Corporation, offering it at least 3% participation in the project, he said.

Next week, Humbert will visit Moscow to discuss the issue with UABC management, and may sign a cooperation agreement.

The new planes will have increased range and lower operating costs, and will come in two models - the A-350-800, which will hold 253 passengers with a flight range of 16,300 kilometers and the A-350-900 with a 300-passenger capacity and a range of 13,900 kilometers.

The first A-350 is scheduled for completion in 2010. Airbus has so far received requests for 140 A-350s from nine airlines. Some have signed formal agreements to purchase the planes.

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