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CIT Group Inc, provider of commercial and consumer finance solutions, has ordered five Airbus A350-800s, whilst Airbus also signed an agreement with Irkut, the Russian scientific production corporation, to further develop the A350 in Russia.
CIT’s selection of the A350 takes total commitments for the new Airbus model to 130 aircraft from eight customers, with deliveries for the newly designed A350s due in 2012 and 2013.
“We chose the Airbus A350 after extensive analysis, because it will offer airlines new standards in performance and economics, together with unmatched passenger appeal,” says CIT Aerospace President Jeffrey Knittel.
“Leasing companies such as CIT have the vision to look far into the future, excellent financial resources, and a global outlook, so their selection of the new Airbus A350 points to a great future,” says Airbus President and CEO Gustav Humbert.
Airbus have also signed a preliminary agreement with Irkut on Russian participation in A350 development and future Airbus aircraft programmes.
The letter of intent (LOI) confirms Airbus’ proposal for Russian aviation industry participation in the design and manufacture of the A350 on a risk-sharing basis. In addition, it establishes that both parties will explore opportunities in research & technology that could further enhance Russia’s contribution to future Airbus aircraft programmes.
Under the LOI, a multifunctional working group comprising specialists from Airbus and UAC, will be formed to define both the scope of Russian participation in the A350 programme, and to study the possibilities for the Russian aviation industry to maximise its involvement in future Airbus aircraft programmes.
“”We believe that long term co-operation with Airbus is very important for us and this agreement will allow to significantly expand the Russian participation in all Airbus projects””, said Oleg Demchenko.
“”Airbus has been progressively implementing a wide industrial co-operation programme in Russia, and the new initiative will bring the continuing partnership between Airbus and the Russian aviation industry to a completely new level””, said Christian Scherer.
The signature of the LOI is the latest step in Airbus’ extensive co-operation programme with Russian aviation industry, which was defined in an agreement between EADS (European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company), Airbus’ major shareholder, and Rosaviakosmos, that was signed in July 2001. By the end of 2004, Airbus had offered Russian companies contracts with a value of USD80 million per year, a figure it intends to increase to USD110 million per year in 2007. Airbus’ Russian programme covers numerous research and technology projects, design work, material procurement and manufacturing subcontracts, as well as extensive co-operation in the certification field.
In Moscow, Airbus has a regional office and a technical representation that provides on-the-spot support for airlines. ECAR, the Airbus and Kaskol Group’s joint-venture engineering centre, has operated in Moscow since spring 2003, and currently employs 120 Russian engineers.
Irkut Corporation is a vertically integrated holding company, uniting Irkutsk Aviation Plant, Beriev Design Bureau and Yakovlev Design Bureau. It provides a full cycle of development, manufacture, sales and after-sale support of military and civil aviation products. Irkut’s main products are the Su-27 and Su-30MK fighters, the Be-200 amphibian and the Yak-130 training and light strike aircraft. Last December Irkut won Airbus work packages worth $200 million over ten years, and is currently launching production of A320 Family components at its facility in Irkutsk.
The Airbus A350 features 60 per cent advanced weight-saving materials, fuel-saving new-generation engines, and valuable savings in training and operation through cockpit-commonality with today’s A330/A340 family.
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