MONTREAL, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- Canadian aircraft maker Bombardier Aerospace said Wednesday it has signed a letter of intent with a Russian company for 50 jetliners worth about $1.7 billion.
Bombardier also announced separately it is working on developing relationships with two Russian aircraft companies as part of the deal.
Bombardier said in a release posted to its website that Ilyushin Finance Co., a Moscow easing company, wants to acquire 50 Q400 NextGen turboprop airliners, which seat 70-80 passengers, that would be assembled in Russia under a joint venture that may be created by Bombardier and Rostekhnologii, known as Rostec.
Bombardier said the letter of intent with Ilyushin, which was finalized at the recent international air and space show in Moscow, will provide an opportunity for the procurement of at least 50 more Q400 NextGen aircraft in the region.
"Our intent to purchase 50 Q400 NextGen aircraft and our recent firm order for 32 Bombardier CS300 aircraft will provide local operators with the potential to expand regional travel with aircraft that are complementary to the latest Russian-built aircraft which illustrates our strategy to find the best portfolio of products for our customers," Ilyushin Director General Alexander Rubtsov said.
"The Q400 NextGen aircraft's excellent fuel efficiency and operational costs; interchangeability with jet service; comfort and outstanding environmental qualities, make it an ideal choice for diverse operations across Russia's vast landscape. We look forward to working with Bombardier and Rostec to reach a firm agreement for the aircraft in the near future."
Mike Arcamone, president of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, said he sees his company's plane as a good fit for the Russian market.
"We look forward to working with IFC and Rostec to help develop a modern aerospace cluster in Russia," he said.
Bombardier and Rostec, a state corporation controlled by the Russian Federation, said they signed a series of preliminary agreements aimed at ultimately in the establishment of a final assembly line in the federation.
Bombardier said it signed a letter of intent with Irkut Corp. on potential strategies and collaboration for the provision of customer support.