Airbus sells A380 jets to Russia in historic deal | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 21.06.2012
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Airbus sells A380 jets to Russia in historic deal

Transaero has become the first former Soviet carrier to order A380 jets from Airbus. The deal could mark the beginning of a lucrative partnership for the European manufacturer.

Russia's second-largest airline agreed on Thursday to buy four of the jumbo jets in a deal worth $1.7 billion (1.34 billion euros).

In the historic agreement, the contract was signed by Transaero General Director Olga Pleshakova and Airbus Executive Vice President Christopher Buckley at the annual Saint Petersburg Economic Forum.

"It's a historic moment for Airbus as this is the first contract in Russia and the CIS for A380," Buckley told reporters during the signing ceremony, referring to the Commonwealth of Independent States, an alliance of former Soviet nations.

Lucrative market

"We are very confident that the fleet will not stop at four aircraft, and we're looking forward to many more A380s to this first in Russia," Buckley added.

Airbus and Transaero had already signed a preliminary deal on the purchase of the superjumbo jets last October. However, delivery is not expected before late 2015.

Still, Transaero has not put all its eggs in one basket. Prior to Thursday's deal, the Russian long-distance carrier ordered four 787-8 Dreamliner jets from Boeing. Transaero saw its passenger numbers increase by a staggering 27 percent last year to total 8.5 million people.

hg/mkg (AFP, dapd)