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Rossiya Airlines to buy four Airbus aircraft in 2008

ST. PETERSBURG, June 21 (RIA Novosti) - Rossiya Airlines, a St. Petersburg-based air carrier, plans to buy four A320 Airbus planes in 2008, a senior company official said Thursday.

Gennady Boldyrev, first deputy director general at Rossiya Airlines, said an initial protocol had already been signed and a contract was being drawn up. The airline is expected to obtain the first A320 jet in November 2008.

Boldyrev said his company would buy Tu-204-300 planes for private carriage, using federal budget funds. Rossiya also expects to receive three long-haul Boeing-767 aircraft later this year.

The Airbus A320 is a medium-haul airliner with a passenger capacity of up to 120 and an average flight range of about 3,000 miles.

Rossiya Airlines was established in 2006 through a merger between Pulkovo Aviation Company in St. Petersburg and Moscow's Russia State Transport Company. Its pool has 52 passenger aircraft, including five Boeing 737 and two Airbus A-319 planes.

At this week's air show at Le Bourget outside Paris, Russia's flagship airline Aeroflot signed a contract with Airbus to buy 22 A350 passenger planes and Russia's S7 Airlines (formerly Sibir) said it would purchase 25 A320 planes.

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