Aeroflot Group shareholders approved an operating lease of 50 new Irkut MC-21-300 aircraft from lessor Avia Capital Services (ACS) during Aeroflot’s AGM June 25. ACS is the leasing arm of state-owned Rostec Corp. According to Aeroflot, the planned timeframe for delivery runs from 1Q 2020 to 3Q 2026, subject to amendment and extension.

Aeroflot announced a preliminary order for the 50 MC-21 narrowbodies in 2011, which was firmed up in February 2018. The deal is valued at $5 billion.

Aeroflot was supposed to be the MC-21 first operator, but according to an announcement made by the Irkutsk region government in April 2018 the first aircraft will be delivered to locally-based carrier IrAero Airline. IrAero announced an order for 10 MC-21s at the MAKS Air Show in Moscow in 2013. IrAero’s first MC-21 will be delivered in 2019.

Irkutsk-based manufacturer Irkut Corp. rolled out the MC-21-300 on June 8, 2016. The aircraft type is available in two versions—the -200 and -300—which seat 132 and 163, respectively, in a standard two-class layout, or a maximum 165 and 211 seats. The MC-21 performed its first flight May 28, 2017. A second MC-21-300 prototype completed its maiden flight in Irkutsk May 12, 2018. Irkut plans for the MC-21 to gain its Russian type certificate in 2019 and EASA type certificate in 2020.

Polina Montag-Girmes