$3 billion worth of deals concluded at the Moscow air show

The organisers of Moscow international air show claimed that the event had generated over $3 billion in contracts, triple the amount of business the last show saw, but still much less than the western air shows that Russia is trying to emulate. The show opened last Monday and closed last Sunday.

The United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), an umbrella organisation for Russia's plane makers, signed some $1.5 billion in contracts. Deals made by other manufacturers would boost the total to around $3 billion, said Russian news agencies. The 2005 edition of the biennial show had brought about $1 billion in contracts. (See: Russia's biggest air show, MAKS 2007, gets 100,000 visitors daily)

Russia hopes the show eventually will be as much a force in the industry as Britain's Farnborough air show and France's Paris air show at Le Bourget. But it has a long way to go. At this year's Paris air show, Airbus alone signed contracts worth $88 billion.

However, little action was reported for one of Russia's strongest hopes in the civilian market — the Sukhoi Superjet 100 — which seats 75 to 95 passengers. The regional jet includes Boeing among its subcontractors, but reportedly got no new orders during the show. Sukhoi and the Italian company Alenia Aeronatica signed a joint-venture agreement to sell and service the planes.

Many older-design Russian airliners do not meet Western standards for noise and emissions, limiting Russia's market. Not surprisingly, one of the larger deals of this year's air show was the purchase of four Boeing 737s by Atlant-Soyuz, an airline controlled by the Moscow city government.

Among other deals announced during the show was an agreement signed by Boeing and Russia's VSMPO-Avisma to create a joint venture to make titanium forgings for use in the production of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner.