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Russia sees 'high interest' in its planes at Singapore Airshow

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SINGAPORE, February 20 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Ilyushin Finance is in talks to increase its order portfolio at the ongoing Singapore Airshow 2008, a company senior executive said on Wednesday.

Ilyushin Finance deals in the financial and operational leasing of Russian-manufactured civil aircraft, and provides consulting services.

Alexander Tavaryan, director for marketing, said the company is conducting intensive negotiations on contracts to provide An-148 regional medium-haul jets to airlines in Sri Lanka, Mongolia, Singapore and Indonesia.

He said it has already secured a contract to deliver five Il-96-400 four-engine long-haul widebody airliners to Zimbabwe by 2011.

Cuba announced it intends to order three Il-96 and three Tu-204 medium-haul airplanes designed to carry 210 passengers, in addition to the six it is currently using. It also has plans to lease / buy three An-148 jets.

Tavaryan said Iran also has shown an interest in Russian airplanes.

The Islamic Republic currently uses Tu-204, Tu-154, An-72, Yak-42 and other Russian built airplanes.

He said Ilyushin Finance has firm orders for around 90 Il-96, Tu-204, and An-148 airliners, until 2011.

The Singapore Airshow is Asia's largest aerospace and defense event and one of the top three air shows in the world. It is held from 19 to 24 February 2008 and with over 80,000 visitors expected to attend.

Ilyushin Finance holds a 38% stake in Russia's 90% state-owned United Aircraft Building Corporation (UABC), formed two years ago during a merger of leading domestic plane manufacturers to streamline the country's aircraft industry.

UABC incorporates commercial and military aircraft makers including Ilyushin, Tupolev, Sukhoi, Antonov and Mikoyan, as well as companies involved in distribution, including Aviaexport.

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