Monday, August 3, 2009

Restart of AN-124 Production Still To Be Decided

UAC confirms no firm decision yet on air giant
Shipping News Feature

RUSSIA - Russian aircraft builder United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) has stated that reports on the resumption of construction of the An-124 ‘Ruslan’ aircraft were ‘pure speculation’.

In a communication with the Handy Shipping Guide, Maxim Syssoev, Deputy Director of Corporate Communications, stated that:

“UAC-Transport Aircraft have prepared a case (market study, business plan, necessary investment etc.) on the possible re-start of An-124 production in Ulianovsk. The case has been submitted to the Russian Federation Government for a decision. As of now, no decision has been taken. The prospects or likelihood of such a decision are pure speculation.”

As the Russian government is the majority share holder in UAC the decision to resume production of the Ruslan could be motivated as much by political concerns as by business ones.

With a payload of 150 tons the An-124 has played a key part in the international heavy air lift industry since its introduction in 1986. A decision to resume construction would provide a direct competitor to Boeing’s new freighter, the 747-8, and the Airbus A380-800F.