MIAMI — Russian flag carrier, Aeroflot, is negotiating with Airbus the expansion of its long-haul fleet with a potential order of 28 Airbus A350-900s, worth $7.8 billion at list prices.
In a story published today by Reuters, the Russian carrier might be doubling its current commitment of 14 A350s.
The airline signed a memorandum of understanding for 22 Airbus A350 XWBs in 2007, including both -800 and -900 variants.
“We are delighted that Aeroflot has chosen the all-new A350 XWB for its next-generation long-haul fleet,” said Airbus President and CEO, Louis Gallois in 2007.
Order Ahead Of Farnborough?
Curiously, these rumors are looming a week ahead of the Farnborough Air Show’s (FIA) kick-off date, to which Aeroflot and other Russian companies won’t be attending.
Russian companies said they would not attend to this year’s FIA because of the UK’s current position and sanctions against Russia.
However, should the Aeroflot announcement come through, it might be the first Airbus sale ahead of the airshow, positioning itself far ahead of Boeing in the wide-body segment of the market.
Dreamliners? Too small
In 2007, the Russian carrier also placed an order for 22 Boeing 787 Dreamliners. According to several sources, Aeroflot canceled it in 2015, ceding the rights to Avia Capital Services, a leasing company owned by Rostec.
Today, though, Boeing’s catalog still shows the 22 Dreamliners as an “unfulfilled order.”
The reasons for Aeroflot’s cancellation of the Dreamliner order were attributed to capacity concerns.
According to Russian Aviation Insider, Aeroflot’s long-haul fleet development strategy “dwells primarily on more spacious Boeing 777s and, in future, Airbus A350.”
Currently, the airline boasts a long-haul fleet of 22 Airbus A330-200/300s and 17 Boeing 777-300(ER)s.
Transitioning to single-type fleet
Should the Airbus A350 order be confirmed, Aeroflot will take advantage of the fleet commonality with the A330s it has in its fleet to streamline costs and increase efficiencies between crews.
The airline recently posted a loss of $184.5 million citing rising fuel costs. However, with Russian demand for travel increasing, and the internal competition decreasing—particularly after the demise of Transaero—Aeroflot may be positioning itself as a stronger leader in the international air travel in and out of Russia.
Both Airbus and Aeroflot have not issued any public statements on the potential order. However, sources confirm that an announcement might be released shortly.