20 August 2014

Aeroflot’s order for 22 A350s could be impacted by US/EU sanctions.

Even though sanctions imposed over Moscow’s alleged involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine appear not to immediately threaten airliner sales in Russia, the inclusion of certain Kremlin-controlled financial institutions and airlines on so-called “black lists” appears likely to alarm potential investors from Europe and elsewhere.

The situation casts a shadow over Aeroflot’s rather controversial order for 22 Airbus A350s placed 7 years ago. Among other recent Aeroflot fleet renewal programs, plans called for one of the banks under sanction—Vneshtorgbank (VEB)—to fund the A350 transaction under a buy and lease-back arrangement. Should the sanctions continue for long, Airbus might ask Aeroflot for a more suitable financier.

Andreas Kramer, Airbus vice president for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, tried to allay any such fears. “A financier is often chosen five to six months before delivery, so it is too early to speak of it,” he insisted.

During the MSN5 one-day stop at Moscow Sheremetievo airport –within the A350 World Tour-, Kramer said: “We are in Moscow to show the A350XWB to our airline customers and to demonstrate that it can operate without any additional airport equipment. The A350XWB is partially a Russian aircraft since some parts of it have been developed Airbus engineering center in Moscow, one of the best engineering centers of its kind around the world.”

Russian engineers performed work involving the shaping of the airplane’s fuselage sections.

Based on the article “Sanctions Cast Shadow over A350 Visit to Moscow” published in AINOnline

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