Aeroflot signs up for 22 Airbus A350XWBs; gets 5 per cent stake in the project

Moscow: Russian carrier Aeroflot and Airbus signed a memorandum-of-understanding on Thursday, for a deal that will see Aeroflot buy 22 A350 XWB jets for an estimated $ 2 billion. As a sweetener, Airbus parent EADS has also offered Russia a 5-per cent risk-sharing stake in the $10 billion A350 project.

The deal brings the number of orders and purchase commitments for Airbus' long-range plane to 248, the company said in a press statement issued at its headquarters in Toulouse.

Aeroflot director general Valery Okulov and Airbus's chief operating officer, Fabrice Bregier, signed the protocol in Moscow. The delivery of the first aircraft is due between 2014 and 2017.

The document was one among a string of aviation deals signed by United Aircraft Building Corporation (UABC) and EADS on Thursday. As part of these agreements, Aeroflot has also acquired 10 A330-200 aircraft on an operating lease, Airbus said.

Details on which parts of the aircraft could be designed and built in Russia were not made clear. According to Russian analysts, the UABC would probably supply titanium parts or parts of the undercarriage. With a 5 per cent stake in the $10 billion project, Russia should expect to reap $500 million from the partnership.