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    Russia's Aeroflot to replace Tu-134 planes by 2008

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    Russia's flagship air carrier Aeroflot [RTS: AFLT] said Thursday it will replace its Tu-134 aircraft by 2008.

    MOSCOW, February 15 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's flagship air carrier Aeroflot [RTS: AFLT] said Thursday it will replace its Tu-134 aircraft by 2008.

    The Aeroflot board approved February 15 a program to gradually replace the airline's Tu-134 planes with modern aircraft.

    "All 14 Tu-134 planes in the Aeroflot fleet will be withdrawn from operation by January 1, 2008," the air carrier's press office said.

    In addition, Aeroflot intends to replace its more modern Tu-154 planes, the press office said.

    "Tu-134 and Tu-154 airliners will be replaced by new-generation aircraft, especially the promising Russian SuperJet-100 short-range plane, which has been developed by the Sukhoi design bureau and whose delivery is expected to begin in late 2008, and medium-range A320 airbuses," the press office said.

    The Tu-134 plane, which seats 76 passengers, came into serial production in 1967. It flies to distances of up to 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles).

    Founded in 1923, Aeroflot accounts for 39% of Russia's international air traffic and 11% of domestic flights.

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