PARIS, June 20 (Reuters) - Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) said on Tuesday it hoped a long-range, widebody plane it is developing with the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) would sell more than 600 over a 20-year period.
The jet represents a Russian and Chinese effort to compete in the lucrative widebody segment that is now divided between Europe’s Airbus and U.S. rival Boeing.
The maiden flight for the venture’s new plane is scheduled for 2023, with first delivery expected two years later.
“We have big expectations with COMAC for this product,” UAC President Yury Slyusar said at the Paris Airshow, adding that he was hopeful about selling more than 600 of the planes over 20 years.
UAC was established by a 2006 presidential decree that consolidated Russia’s aviation assets and aimed to revive the fortunes of the nation’s plane business. It owns Russian brands such as Tupolev, Ilyushin and MiG, as well as Sukhoi’s commercial Superjet programme.
Slyusar also called for the lifting of Western sanctions from Russia. “We are interested in eliminating, cancelling any sanctions, it would be very useful in the future,” he said in later comments to Reuters.
The measures were imposed by the European Union and the United States after Moscow’s annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine in 2014.
A Russian official earlier said Russian industry had adapted to sanctions by, for instance, building an indigenous capacity to produce parts that had previously come from European firms. (Editing by Edmund Blair)