Duma calls for state investments in aircraft industry

The Russian State Duma is planning to ask the government for three billion dollars to buy new planes – with the aim of reviving the domestic aircraft industry.

Russian airlines are flying a growing number of Boeings and Airbuses in their fleets. They account for one third of all Russian passenger traffic. One key reason is fuel efficiency. The Soviet Union designed planes for both civil and military purposes. And at the time of state subsidies, resilience – not fuel efficiency mattered most. Now, as oil prices remain high, Russian planes look less attractive. With few orders from Russian airlines, the country's aircraft builders are working at just one third of capacity, barely making 10 planes a year. Analysts say second-hand airplanes made in the West are not much better than new Russian aircraft, but they are much cheaper and quicker to get off the shelf. Analysts remain optimistic for Russia’s home-grown aircraft market. They say, the newly developed short-range plane Russian Regional Jet or Superjet-100 – is an example of Russia's successful cooperation with international players like Boeing – one of the keys to the revival of Russian aircraft making.