The leasing company Ilyushin Finance Co. (IFC) refused to become the starting Russian customer of the upgraded L-410 aircraft produced at the Czech plant Aircraft Industries, owned by the Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company (UMMC). IFC could not find an operator for the aircraft, explaining this to the high cost of ownership. Now the launch customer will be the Ministry of Defense of Russia, which requires four airliners, in everyday life received the nickname Cheburashka.
Representatives of the leasing company and UMMC, the owner of the Aircraft Industries plant, told RBC daily that IFC had suspended negotiations on the purchase of Czech aircraft. “The aircraft proved itself in the last century, IFC wanted to try to engage in small appliances and entered into a preliminary agreement with the Czech plant. However, the cost of ownership of L-410 is high, which complicates the search for customers, ”the official representative of the IFC said. According to him, airlines-operators for its acquisition required substantial budget subsidies and guarantees. "The high price and the claimed characteristics of the aircraft led to the freezing of negotiations on its acquisition by air carriers," said the representative of the IFC.
L-410 (got the nickname Cheburashka for the characteristic arrangement of engines) was during Soviet times the most massive turboprop aircraft operated on regional lines. Total order was released 1000 such machines. It transports up to 19 passengers and is able to work on airfields with both ground and hard surface. The plane flies at a speed of 300 km / h over distances up to 500 km.
UMMC bought 51% of Czech Aircraft Industries shares in 2008; It was assumed that the Czech aircraft will be the basis of the new regional airline fleet in the Urals (with a base at Ektuk Uktus airport). However, in 2009, UMMC co-owner Iskandar Makhmudov began negotiations to sell the plant of the United Aircraft Building Corporation (UAC). The deal did not take place, and the UMMC had to independently search for customers for the aircraft. In the summer of 2012, IFC signed a preliminary agreement for the supply of ten aircraft during 2013 — 2014, with an option for three airliners in 2015.
After the failure of the IFC, the launch customer of the upgraded L-410 is likely to become the Russian Ministry of Defense. As noted on the state procurement site, the military department is preparing to purchase four airliners, the maximum contract value is 781,3 million rubles. (VAT included). Of these, two aircraft will be in the passenger version on 19 seats, one will be eight-seater, another aircraft will be made in the VIP-version for five passengers (headquarters), noted on the website of public procurement. All aircraft must be delivered this year. The liners will be equipped with new Walter M-601 engines (until now, the GE H-80 engine was installed on the aircraft). The UMMC notes that the Defense Ministry will buy upgraded aircraft that can fly at a speed of 380 km / h, with a range of 1380 km. In addition to the Ministry of Defense, this year another six L-410 aircraft can be delivered to foreign and Russian airlines. Among them, the representative of UMMC calls “Komiaviatrans” and the Orenburg Airport State Unitary Enterprise “Orenburg Airport”.
Cheburashka will be called into the army