Airbus, Russian freighter conversions still far off

AIRBUS’ plans to have Russia convert its A320 passenger aircraft into freighters will still take some time, according to Airbus head, Tom Enders.

“We have always said this is a long-haul strategy,” he said. “We start small then we go to bigger projects like the freighter conversion. And then maybe, some day, we will be able to also develop aircraft together.”

Russian aircraft manufacturer, Irkut, says it plans to develop its own aircraft model to challenge the A320 and Boeing’s 737, but Enders says that serious competition is still some way away.

“[Our] Russian colleagues have already decided on the MC-21,” Enders said. “I think the development has started. We don’t see a replacement of our…A320 family for the next 15 years or so.”

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