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    SERVICE LIFE OF NEARLY HALF OF RUSSIA'S CIVIL AIRCRAFT EXPIRE BY 2010

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    MOSCOW, January 21, 2004 (RIA Novosti) - Nearly half of Russia's air vessels, which account for a lion's share of air carriages, will have exhausted their service life by 2010, whereas by 2015, the figure will hike to 80%. The data were cited at today's meeting of the Russian transport ministry board.

    According to the cited figures, some 1,500 long-haul and regional jets now in use in Russia make up one of the most outdated civil aircraft fleets in the developed countries. As little as 0.3% of the overall number of Russian aircraft is replaced every year, which is nearly 95% less than in the developed countries.

    The crisis of Russia's aircraft industry further aggravates the situation. Russian aircraft manufacturers are in desperate need of long-term orders, 70% of production capacities being idle.

    Roughly $1 billion of investment is required to resume serial production and launch the production of new world-class aircraft, according to the transport ministry.

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