Interview with Craig Jones

Craig Jones, Boeing Commercial Airplanes Vice President of Sales for Russia and CIS, spoke exclusively to Russia Today on the Boeing plans for the MAKS 2007 Air Show and partnership with Russian companies.

Russia Today: Why is Boeing at MAKS 2007? Do you want to sell more aircraft to Russia, or are you trying to contribute to Russia’s domestic aircraft building programme?

Craig Jones: Well, I think the reason for participation in MAKS is that Boeing has a long-term partnership with Russia. We have been active on this market in terms of engineering forces working with the VSMPO titanium plant.

So, when we actually entered this market it was not a market for selling airplanes. It was actually because of the great partnership we have in Russia in terms of what we can contribute to their industry and what they can contribute to our industry.

RT: We know that you are involved in the Sukhoi SuperJet 100 programme which is obviously the great pride of Russian aircraft building at the moment. What is next for Boeing? What is next for Boeing in Russia and the former countries of the Soviet Union?

C.J.: Well, I think in terms of participation in the SuperJet, we are looking forward to the aircraft, and then to the first flight, and to the first deliveries. Part of the work will be with the United Aircraft Corporation in terms of looking at what other opportunities are there to co-operate with the UAC – in terms of what potential programmes it might have. The participation will be as a supplier to their programmes. We can also use the Russian industries as a partner for Boeing. It is just a matter of finding the synergies where we can work the best together.

RT: You are a businessman, but can we assume that probably you are also an aviation enthusiast. What are you looking forward to seeing here today?

C.J.: Well, I think this is the fifth MAKS I have been to. So, this is really a spectacular show, the flying is superb. It is quite the best flying demonstration I have seen anywhere in the world. So, it is obvious that you rather be here just for the show. What I would like to say it is more like the way this show is supposed to be. There are a lot of people who come here to watch airplanes fly and certainly have a lunch out here. So, it is not just about business. It is about actually joining the show itself.