While visiting the MAKS 2021 Russian air show, a delegation of the cargo group Volga-Dnepr discussed with Irkut the potential to develop a freighter version of the upcoming Russian airliner MC-21.
“Amid the capacity constraints, emerging demand for freighters and increase of cargo volumes worldwide Irkut Corporation is in favourable position to commence the freighter program,” the carrier wrote in a statement. “Volga-Dnepr Group might become the possible launch customer of the MC-21-200 freighter version.”
The MC-21 is a medium-haul plane capable of carrying between 132 and 211 passengers ‒ a prized market segment. It is destined to replace the Tu-154 and Tu-204 in Russia and aims to compete on the global market with two best-sellers, the Boeing 737 and the Airbus A320.
Deliveries are slated to start by the end of 2021, according to the trade and industry minister Denis Manturov, with its launch customer being the Russian flag carrier Aeroflot. So far, the airliner has attracted 175 firm orders, in their vast majority from Russian airlines. No order was placed during MAKS 2021.
Meanwhile, four Russian carriers have placed orders and options for the Sukhoi Superjet regional aircraft during aishow, for a total of 58 aircraft.