Russia's United Aircraft Building Corporation (UABC) and the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS) signed the contract to convert 30 A320 and A321 aircraft at the Farnborough air show in southern England.
The contract follows an agreement signed on March 22, 2007, between UABC, Russia's Irkut, Airbus, and EADS, the owner of Airbus. The companies registered a joint venture named Airbus Freighter Conversion GmbH in Germany in May 2007.
"For UABC, the project to convert A320 planes is of considerable interest," UABC CEO Alexei Fyodorov said at the signing ceremony.
Irkut, the manufacturer of the famed Sukhoi fighters, will be the lead contractor for the order, which will be implemented in Zhukovsky, near Moscow, with the first plane to be converted in 2011 and mass conversion starting in 2012.
The converted planes were ordered by AerCap, a Netherlands-based aviation company providing aircraft and engine leasing, trading and parts sales.
Under a preliminary evaluation made by the JV parties, its annual turnover would be up to $200 million.