Russian-made airliners to be rebranded as ‘Yakovlev’ 

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Russian-made commercial aircraft, such as the Superjet SJ-100 regional jet and MC-21 single-aisle mid-sized airliner may soon be getting a new brand name. 

In an interview with Russian financial news outlet RBK, Sergey Chemezov, the head of state-owned aerospace, engineering and defence conglomerate Rostec, said that the historical brand ‘Yakovlev’ is to be revived for the whole family of Russian-made airliners. 

The renaming of Russian-made airliners has already been under discussion for a number of years, and Rostec renaming its commercial aircraft-making subsidiary Irkut as ‘Yakovlev’ in July 2023 already pointed in this direction.  

Founded in the 1930s and currently under Rostec’s umbrella, Yakovlev is one of the ‘Design Bureaus’ active during the Soviet era, alongside other well-known names in the aerospace industry such as Tupolev or Ilyushin. The Yakovlev Design Bureau has continued to produce (mostly military) aircraft until the present day, with the Yak-130, an advanced trainer and light attack aircraft, being one of its latest products. Within the commercial aviation space, the Yak-42, a tri-engined jet for up to 120 passengers launched in the late 1970s, was the last serially produced Yakovlev airliner. 

In the same interview, Chemezov also said that he anticipated the shift away from Western-made aircraft by Russian airlines should become more noticeable by 2030, as it becomes increasingly difficult to service the existing fleet. He claimed that Rostec is gearing up to fill the gap with domestically produced aircraft types. 

In this regard, Chemezov confirmed the supply of 11 Tu-214 aircraft to Aeroflot. Rostec is currently working on the requirement from the Russian airline to reduce the number of pilots from three to two. 

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