Interview with Vice-President of the Irkut MS-21

The new Russian aircraft MS-21 should appear on the world market in a very good time for us — in 2017. That is at least a year earlier than most of their foreign counterparts — the American Boeing 737 MAX, A320 NEO, the Canadian Bombardier CS-300 and the Chinese C919. The last two projects are now experiencing some technical and organizational difficulties, which have led to the postponement of the first flight, while the establishment of the MS-21 while that strictly follows the schedule. About how is the development of MS-21, for whom this ship is designed and how it can have a competitive advantage over Western ones, in an interview with an "expert" said Vice President of Marketing and Sales Corporation "Irkut" Cyril Budaev.

— At what stage is the work of the MC-21?

— The Corporation "Irkut" has reached a significant milestone — Began production of parts for the first aircraft. In aviation, it is called "the first cutting of metal." We have started the production of four aircraft for flight and static tests. Simultaneously prepare the MS-21 for certification in accordance with the standards of EASA and IAC. The first flight is scheduled for the second half of 2015. The first commercial shipment scheduled for late 2017.

— Recently "Irkut" passed the test in TsAGI fuselage MS-21. The first results are already there?

— We have two test databases: the main — TsAGI "Aviatest" in the Baltics. In Russia we are the fuselage, and the facilities of "Aviatesta" — the tail of the aircraft. In the Baltics, the work started earlier, there already completed a lot of cycles. And I can say that the results are good. And in TsAGI tests have not been completed, so to speak about the results too early. But nothing extraordinary, we do not expect.

— How do you assess the market for the MC-21?

— Almost all manufacturers are unanimous in the opinion that by 2030 the world will be released approximately 15-17 thousand mainline single-aisle aircraft. 600-650 of them will be in demand in Russia. Some of them will go to replace retiring aircraft out of service, and the other part — to meet the growing passenger traffic.

We expect to release approximately 1080 aircraft by 2035. About 300-350 of them will be sold in the domestic market and another 650-700 aircraft — on the outside.

Thus, the MS-21 has to win about half of the Russian market for new long-haul aircraft. Now he is more and more filled with aircraft, Boeing and Airbus. And if even a decade ago, Russian airlines have purchased second-hand Western planes, but now they have strengthened their financial position and can afford to buy more expensive new car. But we are confident that we can offer the market a competitive product and oust Western techniques.

— Within the framework of the MS-21 has to be created a whole family of new airliners. On which model you have made a major bet?

— We have two basic models — MS-21-200 (for 135-176 passengers) and MC-21-300 (170-211 passengers). And in the future it can be added to and more spacious model MC-21-400.

The first thing we will be releasing "trehsotku" because it’s a big demand. This will be the plane with the most in demand of capacity in the market in the next ten to fifteen years.

The logic is as follows. Who is the most popular aircraft in our segment — Airbus A320 and Boeing 737-800. But many airlines claim that the freight capacity of the ships they are not enough. That is why they have recently began to buy more spacious aircraft — Airbus A321 and Boeing 737-900.

In reality, the peak of the demand comes from the tank, which is in the range between Boeing 737-800 and Boeing 737-900 and Airbus A320 and Airbus A321. That is just our "trehsotku." It will have 10-15 seats more than competing models. And that’s pretty much as every airline seat brings about a million dollars in revenue over the lifetime of the aircraft. That is why we are fighting for capacity — set ultralight chair, reduces weight.

Do not hesitate to say, but the reaction to the MC-21 aircraft in the world for us hopeful, because MS-21 should arrive on the market in a very successful period of time and in the correct dimensions.

It should be understood that the A320 NEO and Boeing 737 MAX — is to upgrade existing models with the installation of new engines and improvements to local aerodynamics. Fundamentally new U.S. and European aircraft, according to our estimates, there may be somewhere in the late 2020s. But airlines need a new car much earlier — they need an effective tool for reducing costs and making profits. By the way, today the competition in the market among the leading manufacturers largely moved in the direction of marketing and service.

— But in addition to Boeing and Airbus have yet Bombardier. This year the new C-Series airliner must make its first flight. Is this model is not a direct competitor of MS-21?

— Indeed, C-Series and MS-21 — a new generation of aircraft. But the capacitance C-Series — 135-160 access is smaller than MS-21. And this is a slightly different niche.

— And what competitive advantages of MS-21 has over similar products in addition to well designed capacity?

— We have come to the most important aircraft for the airline — a financial model, and in many negotiations with carriers walking around money. The new aircraft would, on the one hand, increase revenue, and on the other — to reduce costs.

MS-21 — a very economical aircraft. In terms of the one seat it will allow airlines to reduce costs by 7-8 percent compared with the models of NEO and MAX.

The cost savings, coupled with the additional profits from passenger airlines can bring additional annual income of about $ 4 million from each liner. Practically, this means that in ten or twelve years of operation, the company will return their initial investments and will continue to fly on this plane, in fact, free.

— Due to what this economy?

— There are three main parameters that affect this. First, aerodynamics, and secondly — the new engine, the third — the weight. Together they allow to reduce fuel consumption by approximately 10-12% compared with remotorizirovannymi aircraft that appear on the market almost simultaneously with MS 21.

The fact that when the plane created, it remains for the duration of the life cycle in the initial design. If you designed it in 1960-1980-x, the entire structure was calculated by the amount of fuel that is consumed while the aircraft. Of course, putting new power plants and making the aerodynamics tuning in, you will achieve improved performance. If you make a liner with a clean slate, in any case, will be using the most advanced technology, the use of modern materials and systems that will eventually drastically reduce its weight and increase efficiency. In our case, the fuel savings compared with existing models will be about 24 percent.

It is also clear that the potential for reducing airline costs are not infinite, there is a certain limit. Many have already approached him. What you need to do to earn more? Obviously, increase revenues and use the interior for a living. Many carriers appeared the motto "Make Money with every cubic inch."

That’s why airlines appreciated our wide fuselage. Take a modern wide-body aircraft and divide the width of the fuselage on its
number of seats in the front row. And then do the same exercise with the MS-21. And you will find that personal space on our plane in terms of a passenger on a 20 percent increase. A private space in many cases — a determining factor for the comfort of people, and for the extra money the airline. For example, you can extend the aisle between the seats. Here is a simple, seemingly, the decision will speed unloading and landing of passengers, to reduce the turnaround time of aircraft at the airport. And this is exactly what you need loukost-carriers.

— Well, and the price of MS-21 will be cheaper than the competition?

— If you find the cost that generates a plane throughout the life cycle, the total price on his account for a small share — about 10-12%. That is in itself the price is not the determining factor in the purchase. The most important thing — it’s income and expenses.

If we talk about the MS-21, the dumping we do not. New generation of aircraft can not be cheap. But while our prices are lower than those of Boeing and Airbus. Catalog NEO MAX and cost about 100-110 million dollars. We have a catalog price of 73 to 82 million.

— How many airlines have expressed interest in your plane? How many of you already have firm orders?

— In our opinion, the most in the world of about 400 companies that might be interested in such a plane. We have already held talks with 180. More than 40 companies have assured us that they are potentially interested in purchasing the MS-21: constantly monitor the progress of the work and achievements, have subscribed our quarterly newsletters and so on.

Market, especially in developed countries, has accumulated a certain skepticism about the Russian product and service. Of course, we feel it. But the barrier can be overcome correct alignment of the marketing concept and the construction of an international partner network service aircraft. Steps in this direction have already been made, signed the first agreement.

Today we have 135 firm orders. More on the 30 machines we have already received advances from the "VEB-Leasing". In addition, we have 91 soft order. That is all it turns 256. In the near future we plan to announce the new firm orders.

— How much should be spent on the entire program to create MS-21 and its launch of a series?

— The cost of our program — $ 5.5 billion. Of these, 2.75 billion given by the state 1.3 billion — commercial loans and another 1.45 billion — own funds "Irkut" and members of co-operatives. I note that in the West, the creation of such an aircraft as MS-21, it would cost 40 per cent more expensive, that is about 7-8 billion dollars.

— And when, according to your calculations, should pay off the project?

— We believe that somewhere in the three hundred aircraft it will pay off. It depends on our work, the situation which will emerge in the market. But while such forecasts.


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