Aeroflot Orders 339 Russian-Built Planes

Aeroflot Orders 339 Russian-Built Planes

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Aeroflot has just placed its largest aircraft order ever, and it’s entirely for Russian-built planes.

Aeroflot refreshing fleet with Russian planes

Aeroflot Group and United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) have signed an agreement for the purchase of 339 Russian-built planes. This deal includes the following aircraft:

  • 210 Irkut MC-21
  • 89 Sukhoi Superjet New
  • 40 Tupolev Tu-214

This deal is worth $16 billion at list prices, and was signed at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. The Russian government will help with financing for this order.

These planes are expected to join Aeroflot’s fleet between 2023 and 2030, with the first Sukhoi planes being delivered in 2023, and the first Irkut and Tupolev planes being delivered in 2024. The planes are intended for all Aeroflot Group airlines, including Aeroflot, Rossiya, and Pobeda.

Here’s how Sergey Alexandrovsky, Aeroflot’s CEO, describes this order:

“Today we signed the largest agreement on the acquisition of domestic aircraft in the recent history of Aeroflot. This is an important step that sets the stimulus and influences the prospects for the development of civil aviation in Russia.”

“Signing of this agreement clearly demonstrates to the whole world that Russia is a great aviation power with great potential and rich experience in the field of aircraft construction, capable of producing reliable and modern aircraft.”

The CEO of the parent company of UAC believes that the MC-21 will soon “become the flagship aircraft” of the Aeroflot fleet, and also notes that “all aircraft will be delivered in an import-substituted form, with Russian-made on-board systems and units.”

Irkut MC-21 cabin

My take on Aeroflot’s aircraft order

It goes without saying that if Aeroflot wanted to refresh its fleet, acquiring Russian-built aircraft was the only option. There’s an embargo in place that prevents Airbus and Boeing from selling planes to Russian airlines, and for that matter the airline can’t even easily get foreign parts anymore.

I can’t help but chuckle at the statement from Aeroflot’s CEO, claiming that this order “clearly demonstrates to the whole world that Russia is a great aviation power with great potential and rich experience in the field of aircraft construction, capable of producing reliable and modern aircraft.”

I mean, maybe he can make that statement in 2030 after these planes have been in service for so long, but how does a theoretical order with future deliveries demonstrate that these planes are reliable?

Aeroflot is majority owned by the government, but despite that, the airline has historically primarily flown Airbus and Boeing aircraft, rather than planes produced domestically. What does that tell you about how reliable and modern Aeroflot management thinks these planes are?

It’s also noteworthy how Russia doesn’t really have any “modern” wide body jets, so those aren’t part of this order. Then again, I suppose the need for wide body jets will be more limited without international travel (though flying from one end of Russia to the other can take over eight hours).

I’m curious to see what comes of all of this, and how well and fast Russian aircraft manufacturers can actually produce planes without foreign parts. One thing is for sure — if the situation with Russia does ever normalize, there will be quite some avgeek opportunities in the country!

Sukhoi Superjet 100

Bottom line

Aeroflot has just placed an order for 339 jets that are produced in Russia, which the airline plans to take delivery of between 2023 and 2030. With sanctions in place, Aeroflot can no longer order Airbus and Boeing jets, and is even having issues getting spare parts for existing planes.

Since it seems like the current Russia situation won’t be improving any time soon, Aeroflot is now all-in on Russian-built planes. However, I’m not sure this agreement “clearly demonstrates to the whole world that Russia is a great aviation power,” as is claimed.

What do you make of Aeroflot’s huge aircraft order?

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  1. Guest Guest

    I really think some people commenting here need to work on their reading comprehension skills. This is not a pro-Russian or Pro-Putin article. The article clearly shows and calls out the propaganda spewing forth from the announcement.

  2. Bernie Madoff Guest

    I think this makes sense as Russia will not be a full participant in the world economy for years to come so international supplies and parts will be hard to come by. Other countries cutoff from the world economy in the past and have taken similar measures.

    It also makes even more sense from a political standpoint. This is a move to boost Russian public opinion and yet another measure to band-aid the economy....

    I think this makes sense as Russia will not be a full participant in the world economy for years to come so international supplies and parts will be hard to come by. Other countries cutoff from the world economy in the past and have taken similar measures.

    It also makes even more sense from a political standpoint. This is a move to boost Russian public opinion and yet another measure to band-aid the economy. Russia has been precariously propping up its economy since it started the war. At this point, the Russian economy seems like a giant ponzi scheme.

    The planes obviously won't be made in anywhere near the numbers they announced. There won't be money or demand for this number of planes and Russian planes and citizens have fewer options for routes. It will be interesting to see the final number of planes actually delivered. I am doubtful it will make it to triple digits.

  3. OEA Guest

    Yeah, but we have used their spacecraft to go to the ISS for a long time. I don't understand your usual underestimation, they have built aircraft for a century.

  4. Nizam guest. Guest

    You people of the West are just full of yourselves. A Chinese caused shipping bottle neck and Russian Gas cutback has the entire western economy on it's back with sky high inflation. European will be going back to wood burning stoves should Russian curtail gas and oil shipment for one full year.

  5. No frequent flyer Guest

    Well, Russia has no other options then to build planes themselves so sounds logical.
    They also have a track record of corruption and will probably be using fridge microchips and Lada breaks.

    Sounds like a winning combination.

  6. Andryusha Guest

    Wait for the first disaster.Its only a question of time.Meanwhile kudos to the world for standing up to blood-thirsty, child-killer dictator Adolf Putin.Russia must be cut off from the civilized world entirely.

  7. tuotuo Member

    Now Russia's statement has become more and more similar to the propagate of the Soviet period.Maybe this is a good sign?

  8. Frank Guest

    I think Jessy is right. I am a Canadian, and we have plenty of people like Jessy here, not so many fools here

  9. Fabio Guest

    The Sukhoi Superjet 100 in a joint venture project with Italian's Alenia Aermacchi by Leonardo and Italy agrees with International sanctions over Russia. I don't see any future (unfortunately) for this aircraft.

    1. Leo Guest

      Sukhoi superjet has been flown for more than 10 years and it has proved to be reliable. The same holds true for the tu-214.

    2. Yevgeniy Guest

      It was but, most likely, it is nolonger relying on any parts outside Russia or those will be replaced sooner or later. So, it does have the future.

  10. Rick Guest

    What are they going to use to stop the planes on runways??? MC-21 partnered with Meggitt Aircraft Braking Systems which is no longer supplying Brakes, BCM's, or any other LRU to Russia.

  11. Rational Human Guest

    This war is already hurting Europe more than expected. Russia is no China. US has given them a reason to revive their industries which they will. In the long run every type of wrong backfires be it East or be it West! It's called Karma!

  12. Mohamed saffar Guest

    Yeah mighty Putin with western sanctions still he's getting his country on the world stages so Russian made plane's will be great opportunity for Russia world super status

  13. Dc647 Guest

    I'd feel safer flying on a North Korean passenger jet.

  14. Richard Guest

    I feel safer already. Ultimately the refresh will be via Boeing or Airbus.

  15. Kent Guest

    "Westerners" (god knows who we are referring to) would fly on anything as long as it means saving more pennies in our pockets. Need we remind ourselves that Spirit and Ryanair are our creations! Last I checked, Russia was part of the west. Hilarious and frankly stupid comments by "westerners" about what "westerners" will or won't do.

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      "Last I checked, Russia was part of the west"

      You may wish to check again, and this time a bit more diligently.

      Whether if using Cambridge University's original 1960s era "Slavic Review" studies regarding the relationship between the west, the USSR, and the Soviet blocs, or the 1996 post-Soviet update.... Russia has never been widely considered by its government, its own people, nor various communities of developed nations, to be a part of "the...

      "Last I checked, Russia was part of the west"

      You may wish to check again, and this time a bit more diligently.

      Whether if using Cambridge University's original 1960s era "Slavic Review" studies regarding the relationship between the west, the USSR, and the Soviet blocs, or the 1996 post-Soviet update.... Russia has never been widely considered by its government, its own people, nor various communities of developed nations, to be a part of "the West."

      https://www.jstor.org/stable/2492371

      The "Orthodox World" grouping, which has long since fallen out of common use, would be about the closest it got.

    2. Trent89 Guest

      Does any of this actually matter? No. The question or Russia being part of the west or not has always been complex and contested. The closest we have gotten to is that Russia is European but not Western. At the end of the day, no one really cares. The fact is that Russia is another superpower.

      The west is built on the simple concept of making a dime wherever it can. The original argument...

      Does any of this actually matter? No. The question or Russia being part of the west or not has always been complex and contested. The closest we have gotten to is that Russia is European but not Western. At the end of the day, no one really cares. The fact is that Russia is another superpower.

      The west is built on the simple concept of making a dime wherever it can. The original argument that "western" nations would never buy or fly a marginalized aircraft is total bull crap - as made very evident by the recent 737-MAX8 fiasco where the FAA was forced to take action only after other non-western countries grounded the aircraft. Ultimately, money talks - west or the best.

    3. Tony Guest

      Hope they don't have the same issues as Boeing 737max.....how many people had to die before the truth was revealed!

  16. DCharlie Guest

    @Ben - Regarding the quote, "...clearly demonstrates to the whole world that Russia is a great aviation power with great potential and rich experience in the field of aircraft construction, capable of producing reliable and modern aircraft."

    I don't think anyone can refute that Russia is a great aviation power with very rich experience in the field of airframe design, aerodynamics and turbojet design. This is a fact.

    I think the issue is with...

    @Ben - Regarding the quote, "...clearly demonstrates to the whole world that Russia is a great aviation power with great potential and rich experience in the field of aircraft construction, capable of producing reliable and modern aircraft."

    I don't think anyone can refute that Russia is a great aviation power with very rich experience in the field of airframe design, aerodynamics and turbojet design. This is a fact.

    I think the issue is with the way this quote is framed; speculative against the current order. Russia had a grand commercial aviation manufacturing industry in the past, but not so now. So only the successful fulfilment of this order will tell if the speculations are right or wrong.

    Regardless, it would be great to see another major airline manufacturer provide competition to Boring and Eurobus.

  17. iamhere Guest

    I think you are being naïve regarding Russia's ability to acquire foreign parts. If you check the map of the number of countries that have embargos with Russia, it does not equal much of the world. Many countries do not have such embargos. Furthermore, the planes are built in Russia by a Russian company. This does not mean the technology and the parts as well as the experience to produce the planes did not come...

    I think you are being naïve regarding Russia's ability to acquire foreign parts. If you check the map of the number of countries that have embargos with Russia, it does not equal much of the world. Many countries do not have such embargos. Furthermore, the planes are built in Russia by a Russian company. This does not mean the technology and the parts as well as the experience to produce the planes did not come from elsewhere. We have seen this before in other countries.

    1. Kas New Member

      Yes of course. Which countries with strong aviation industry are left for Putin? Myanmar? Afghanistan maybe? Troll.

    2. tipsyinmadras Diamond

      Trade controls apply to a controlled technology regardless of where and who is selling it. A country violating another country’s trade controls risks disbarment themselves.

    3. Kent Guest

      Trade controls are complex. Country B cannot sell technology restricted by Country A. However, Country B can indigenously develop a technology and sell it to another country. Unfortunately, as most things, trade control embargos are frequently decided by who has the upper hand. There are countless examples in history where countries have failed to enforce embargos due to the financial and economic risks associated with preventing business with a "violator."

  18. Jesse Guest

    I recently flew Aeroflot from Vladivostok to Moscow, and Moscow to Istanbul, on the 777 and 330, respectively, and will make the return trip in a few weeks. I did notice that the planes were less immaculate than before everything kicked off. As an American who lives in Russia, the closure of Western airspace to Russian airlines sucks, as now I have to make an extra stop in Istanbul or Dubai to get back to...

    I recently flew Aeroflot from Vladivostok to Moscow, and Moscow to Istanbul, on the 777 and 330, respectively, and will make the return trip in a few weeks. I did notice that the planes were less immaculate than before everything kicked off. As an American who lives in Russia, the closure of Western airspace to Russian airlines sucks, as now I have to make an extra stop in Istanbul or Dubai to get back to the US. In my opinion, Aeroflot will go back to Airbus and Boeing as soon as everything settles down. Even Russians don't want to fly Russian-made aircraft. The father of one of my students is the chief pilot of Aurora airlines, which mainly operates A319s, but the airline was planning to switch to Russian-made aircraft even before the invasion. Most of the pilots aren't too thrilled with the idea.

    1. Never In Doubt Guest

      "as soon as everything settles down"

      Don't hold your breath.

  19. Phil Guest

    #fail
    And flying on a Russian plane is like making dinner blindfolded and hoping everything works out

  20. jessie Guest

    ""Any kick in the ass is a step forward"... The big losers are Western aircraft manufacturers who have already lost long-term contracts with Russia. The Russians have the technical ability and economic strength to manufacture their own planes. Sanctions only revive the aircraft industry in Russia. It is an illusion to think that the West will crush Russia with these stupid hysterias and frenzies. Europe is in economic collapse and the effects will be disastrous...

    ""Any kick in the ass is a step forward"... The big losers are Western aircraft manufacturers who have already lost long-term contracts with Russia. The Russians have the technical ability and economic strength to manufacture their own planes. Sanctions only revive the aircraft industry in Russia. It is an illusion to think that the West will crush Russia with these stupid hysterias and frenzies. Europe is in economic collapse and the effects will be disastrous later. Do not enjoy the river that will be in Russia. Weep for the evil that grips Europe….

    1. Never In Doubt Guest

      Are you a paid Putin shill? Or is this volunteer work?

    2. A4cDEFuture Guest

      Are you not interested in the truth?! That's a rhetorical question, I know you're not.. Putin bad, USA the best.. Must ban Russia from existence..

    3. Jesse Guest

      Writing common sense doesn't make anyone a "Putin shill".

    4. Mh Diamond

      No, but writing one sided propaganda defending the attacker as Jessie did, does.

    5. Jesse Guest

      Sure, Russia is an "attacker", but anyone who supports Zelensky and the current Ukrainian leadership is naive and ill-informed. Supporting Ukraine means supporting an army that has been murdering civilians in Donbas since 2014. Supporting Ukraine means supporting a government that has banned opposition parties and media outlets, which is opposite of what a true democracy does. Supporting Ukraine means supporting a government that has stripped Russian-speaking Ukrainians of their constitutional rights and dignity (long...

      Sure, Russia is an "attacker", but anyone who supports Zelensky and the current Ukrainian leadership is naive and ill-informed. Supporting Ukraine means supporting an army that has been murdering civilians in Donbas since 2014. Supporting Ukraine means supporting a government that has banned opposition parties and media outlets, which is opposite of what a true democracy does. Supporting Ukraine means supporting a government that has stripped Russian-speaking Ukrainians of their constitutional rights and dignity (long before this conflict started). Supporting Ukraine means supporting extreme xenophobia and condoning the usage of Nazi symbols. Supporting Ukraine means supporting a regime that has, per Amnesty International, intentionally placed military targets in civilian areas. Supporting Ukraine means supporting a regime that intentionally attempted to take IAEA personnel hostage to use as human shields. See my point? I think Ukraine is getting karma'd big time.

    6. Kas New Member

      He is volunteer. Or just a naive guy blindfolded by Putins propaganda.

      Very sad we have such trolls in this blog now

  21. Tassojunior Guest

    Cut out the short hops like the EU is doing and encourage train or bus for short trips. That will open slots for legit air travel needs also.

  22. Mitchell Charnyy Guest

    Good luck - RUSSIAN
    Planes have a history of heavy weight underpowered engines - unless your traveling to Russia I would consider not flying AEROFLOT!

  23. Rik Guest

    The blog post says that Aeroflot has historically had a Boeing and Airbus fleet

    It depends on how far back "historically" means. Prior to the 1990s, I believe all their jets were Russia-made.

    1. Mh Diamond

      It would mean in modern history. With their current safety record, where Westerners are (were) comfortable to fly them.

      Go back to their pre-Western aircraft days and their safety record was a lot worse as well - worse than any other airline at that time.

  24. Andrew Guest

    Does Sergey Alexandrovsky have anything to say about hundreds of perfectly good Airbus and Boeing aircraft that Russia has essentially stolen, which could easily be flying if Putin had not invaded Ukraine? Does he have anything to say at all about THAT?

    1. Jesse Guest

      Well, in Russia's defense, can you really blame them? Aeroflot made its lease payments, and even attempted to continue them, though the leasing companies rejected the payments in fear of violating sanctions. Do you really think Russia was going to gut its main airline and effectively disconnect its major cities across its vast territory? Of course not, and no other country would have returned the planes, either. My thinking is that once the sanctions are...

      Well, in Russia's defense, can you really blame them? Aeroflot made its lease payments, and even attempted to continue them, though the leasing companies rejected the payments in fear of violating sanctions. Do you really think Russia was going to gut its main airline and effectively disconnect its major cities across its vast territory? Of course not, and no other country would have returned the planes, either. My thinking is that once the sanctions are lifted, Aeroflot will negotiate a settlement with the companies, and continue buying and leasing foreign aircraft.

    2. Indopithecus Guest

      On the other hand, the Russian govt. may decide that this is a good opportunity to decouple itself from the inconstant West which is increasingly weaponizing trade. I have a feeling that the Chinese may join them in this venture. Won't be good in the long run for Airbus and Boeing because Chinese and, to a lesser extent, Russian airlines are/were major customers.

  25. Bt Guest

    Problem being what country will allow these planes to touch their soil. Not many. So it looks like it will be just a localized use of these planes. The countries that have the embargo’s just have to say no thank you on allowing these jets to fly in their airspace.

    1. Klaus Guest

      Russia heavily relies on domestic air travel. Taking the train from Moscow to Wladiwostock is not practical.
      Besides, there will be plenty of countries that allow Russian Jets in their airspace. Maledives? India (Goa is full of Russians)? Turkey? All the ‘stans? Etc

    2. A4cDEFuture Guest

      Umm, the entire world other than US and Europe.. Canada, Australia, New Zealand.., Japan, all the Western American owned vessel states.. But the rest of the world admires Russia for standing up to the West! All facts..

  26. Luke Guest

    "the airline has historically primarily flown Airbus and Boeing aircraft, rather than planes produced domestically"

    Umm my guess is this has more to do with aircraft that is allowed to fly into EU and other airspace of western countries!

    1. tipsyinmadras Diamond

      When money is no object, how many Russians do you see opting for ZILs and Ladas instead of Mercedes and Lamborghinis

    2. Pierre Guest

      Neither ZIL nor lada have survived the Soviet Union.

    3. tipsyinmadras Diamond

      ZIL is long gone but Lada is definitely still around

    4. Kas New Member

      Correct. Newest model will not feature ABS system any longer to make it more affordable if I remember correctly :D

    5. Mh Diamond

      Untrue. Aeroflot had a terrible safety record with Russian craft, and was a joke that no westerner would fly on. They got western aircraft to improve their safety and reputation.

    6. MarekOgarek Guest

      Has the HISTORY started in 21st century?
      Aeroflot has for MOST of its history flown mainly Soviet/Russian aircraft. Poor history knowledge among the young generation.

  27. Richie Lewko Guest

    They have no other option than to build domestically. This announcement and chest pounding is designed for a local audience wondering how they’ll ever travel again as current western built aircraft are cannibalized for spare parts.

  28. D3kingg Guest

    Ben what is there to chuckle about ?

    It’s a massive order. The Russian economy is even stronger than before the Ukraine war.

    You’re saying Russia is incapable of building these planes ?

    1. Klaus Guest

      As Ben said, it’s not yet produced. Russia has yet to prove that they are capable of producing these planes.

      I am skeptical. Not because it’s Russia but because building aircraft generally seems complicated and delayed.

    2. AW Guest

      Keep telling yourself that... Every lie can eventually become reality.

    3. Dempseyzdad Gold

      Well, I didnt think I would get my quota of pro-russian propaganda from this website, but yeah...repeating untruths does not make it a reality.

    4. tipsyinmadras Diamond

      Historically Russia (and Ukraine) have been talented with airframe design let down by extremely dated / subpar technology and more recently insufficient MRO operations. As-is the SSJ and MC-21 have to be re-tooled without western technology.

    5. D3kingg Guest

      The Soviet Union launched the first satellite Sputnik into orbit in the 1950s ahead of the US.

    6. Pierre Guest

      ... Which proves what ?

      They make decent military planes but at a cost two or three times higher than their European or American counterparts. It does not matter for the military but no airline can afford to operate their passenger transports, unless in the completely closed environment which Russia is rapidly generating.

    7. Indopithecus Guest

      Which proves that, pushed to the limit, the Russians can do it. The West (=Americans) may be cutting its nose to spite its face. A parallel universe is evolving and it won't be good for international trade.

    8. DCharlie Guest

      @Pierre - Where is the evidence for your claim that their "decent" military planes cost "two to three times higher than European or American counterparts?" Russia has a rich history in aviation, with fantastic developments in military jet design. The latest versions of the Sukhois and Migs are considered to be amongst the finest military equipment available. Their costs are reasonable and comparable to the unit costs, on the basis of capabilities, when compared to...

      @Pierre - Where is the evidence for your claim that their "decent" military planes cost "two to three times higher than European or American counterparts?" Russia has a rich history in aviation, with fantastic developments in military jet design. The latest versions of the Sukhois and Migs are considered to be amongst the finest military equipment available. Their costs are reasonable and comparable to the unit costs, on the basis of capabilities, when compared to their closest competitors; Rafale, Typhoon, Saab and the F/A 18. The highest cost for a twin-pilot fighter remains the F-22 with a price tag between 130 and 340 million USD per airframe, depending on variant.

    9. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      "The highest cost for a twin-pilot fighter remains the F-22 with a price tag between 130 and 340 million USD per airframe, depending on variant."

      That's not the highest cost, that's the highest price.

      Take care to not confuse the two, as their relationship can be vastly nonlinear, based on many factors, including the one at hand here: perceived quality.

    10. Never In Doubt Guest

      D3kingg off his meds again, apparently.

    11. Brandon Biden Guest

      Perhaps their oil dollars are greater today than 12 months ago, BUT VLAD was not running a WAR in Ukraine, going to North Korea for Artillery shells, Iran for Drones, trading oil with Taliban, so let's get a Level Set about their true capabilities, raw, natural materials, resources and technical skill sets.
      I feel terribly for the Aeroflot CEO, bc he knows those planes will never be in EU when VLAD in power, its the new Southwest.

    12. Steve Diamond

      Honestly what good are we doing by banning Airbus and Boeing from selling planes to Russia. Who is that hurting? It's hurting us not russia.

    13. VJ Guest

      Boeing and Airbus have been essentially running a duopoly for the last two decades with no competition and very little innovation. I wouldn’t rule out Russia and China coming out with competitive options in the next couple of decades.

    14. Pierre Guest

      And you would be dead wrong. Just ask the western operators of the Sukhoi SSJ: They all returned them as fast as they could: No spare parts, no easy fixes, no reliability whatsoever, total impossibility to compete against users of western aircraft.

      Sukhoi probably does not even need to build more SSJs, just hand over the planes that were returned.

    15. Petri Diamond

      Are you advocating for the sanctions to be lifted? Also for Iran?

  29. JW Guest

    By 2030 Putin will be dead and they will cancel all these orders for Airbus aircraft, mark my words on it. What the Bolsheviks done to the Tsars might come back to haunt Leninsism being practised now.

    1. Never In Doubt Guest

      "By 2030 Putin will be dead"

      Unless you have some special insight into his health, that's wishful thinking, at best.

  30. LEo Diamond

    @Ben, any information on the "New" version of the Sukhoi SSJ 100? Or do the word "New" just means newly produce ones instead of newer models?

    1. Klaus Guest

      „new“ specifically means it’s made with Russian parts only.

  31. mike Guest

    imported parts make it past the embargo ?

    1. Never In Doubt Guest

      I'm sure some can/will, but can you plan production/spare parts sourcing around a maybe?

      Recent story in the NYT about how Russian military hardware recovered in Ukraine contains "old technology" that slipped through the embargo.

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Dempseyzdad Gold

Well, I didnt think I would get my quota of pro-russian propaganda from this website, but yeah...repeating untruths does not make it a reality.

7
Never In Doubt Guest

Are you a paid Putin shill? Or is this volunteer work?

5
Pierre Guest

... Which proves what ? They make decent military planes but at a cost two or three times higher than their European or American counterparts. It does not matter for the military but no airline can afford to operate their passenger transports, unless in the completely closed environment which Russia is rapidly generating.

5
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