Irkut Corporation of Russia today announced a price war in the medium-haul category of airplanes promising to undercut the price of Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 by 15%-20%.
“Our aircraft will be cheaper to buy, cheaper to operate and offer enhanced passenger comfort”, said Kirill Budaev, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Irkut Corporation, a member of the (United Aircraft Corp) group. He said the list price of the MC-21-300 aircraft will be about 15%-20% cheaper than a comparable Boeing or Airbus aircraft.
The medium-haul category is the most popular category of commercial airplanes with over a hundred planes aircraft delivered every year. Both Airbus and Boeing have significant back-log of orders.
To sweeten the purchase deal, Irkut Corporation will offer credit terms for aircraft purchase including a wet-leasing option through several leasing companies.
Irkut Corporation rolled-out its MC-21 medium-haul commercial aircraft on June 8 in the presence of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
The aircraft is scheduled to mark its first flight in 2017 and is planned be handed over to its first customers in 2019-20.
The МС-21 family includes two aircraft with a high degree of design commonality. МС-21-200 designed for 132 to 165 passengers and МС-21-300 designed for 163 to 211 passengers.
The МС-21 medium-haul aircraft family contains unique features such as a high-aspect-ratio composite wing, increased fuselage diameter, and the latest generation engines and systems giving the aircraft major advantages over competing aircraft from Boeing and Airbus which have been designed over a decade ago.
“This is an aeroplane which Boeing wished it had produced”, remarked a journalist present on the occasion of the roll-out.
Airlines will be able to enjoy reduced operating costs, quicker turnaround time, enhanced passenger comfort and compliance with prospective environmental regulations, an Irkut statement said.
MC-21 cabin layouts meet requirements of both legacy and low-cost air airlines. Various passenger cabin arrangements can be created such as three-class, two-class, mono-class (including high-dense) configurations. The fuselage being wider than that of other aircraft of the same class, allows air carriers to select optimal combination of seat and aisle widths with to enhance passenger comfort.
The ground and landing performances of the МС-21 aircraft match 4С ICAO and III FAA standards. The aircraft offers airlines a unique opportunity to reduce airport turnaround time by 20%.
The wide aisle and the pivot-type overhead stowage bins allow fast and convenient boarding and disembarking process for the passengers. The design of the passenger cabin and the lavatories ensures speeding up cleaning and preparing aircraft for the next flight.
The on-board maintenance system provides transmission of reports on technical condition of aircraft equipment into Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) data link. This reduces a number of false replacements of units and decreases aircraft down time.
Reduced airport turnaround time provides airlines with additional flight hours and, when needed, compensates flight delays.
Among the world’s leading aircraft engine and component manufacturers such as Pratt and Whitney, Honeywell and Megitt are part of a Russian and Western team of suppliers for the MC-21 program. The MC-21 had a back-log of 175 firm orders and the number of soft orders exceeds 100 aircraft. "We plan to manufacture 72 aircraft a year too fulfil existing orders", said UAC President Yuri Slyusar.