New Cargo plane to boost air industry

After years of stagnation, Russia's aviation industry is showing signs of recovery. A new cargo plane is about to go into production.

Russia's First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has visited a company producing the planes and spare parts in the central Russian city of Voronezh.

Medvedev met factory workers, handing them a certificate allowing serial production of the new IL-96 cargo plane.

The aircraft was unveiled at the MAKS-2007 air-show, where specialists gave it high praise.

All the equipment on the plane is Russian-made and, according to Medvedev, the project is on course to be a major success.

“The Voronezh factory has to work to regain its reputation as a renowned producer. There is every reason to believe that the project will be a success. The finances are there and the economic situation is favourable. Of course, there is hard work ahead as the schedule is tough but I have no doubt you will succeed,” Medvedev said.

First Deputy Prime Minister was asked by reporters whether he thought changes were needed in the way the Russian government works.

Medvedev said Russia must continue as a presidential republic with strong executive power.

He added that a strong initiative is required from the country's regions to tackle acute problems like corruption and housing.