The government plans to offer guarantees for bank debt to help market a narrow-body aircraft being developed by state-owned United Aircraft Corp., the company's CEO said.
UAC has been seeking to develop the MS-21, a single-aisle plane that would challenge Boeing and Airbus. And it aims to attract new airlines that haven't bought planes of that size, UAC head Mikhail Pogosyan said in an interview at the Farnborough Air Show.
"You create a system of sale financing for the aircraft you're manufacturing," Pogosyan said, speaking through an interpreter. "We're actively working on creating an export agency in the same way as in the Western countries."
In the United States, the Export-Import Bank guarantees bank loans to some foreign airlines to help support job creation at home.
France, Germany, Britain and Spain also have export credit agencies to help support sales of Airbus planes.
The MS-21, seating 150 to 212 passengers, will offer a choice of engines by United Technologies' Pratt & Whitney or a Russian-developed engine.
The aircraft will compete in the same category as Boeing's 737 and Airbus' A320. It will also go up against a 168-seat model, the Comac C919, being developed in China, which is set to enter into service in 2016.
Initially, the plane will be flown by domestic airlines and those from countries of the former Soviet Union. Pogosyan said he expects Southeast Asia to be the most likely region where the program will flourish in early years.
"We aren't trying to repeat what Boeing and Airbus or Comac are doing in the market," he said.
The MS-21 will have an all-composite wing, instead of the traditional aluminum now used on narrow-body models. Pogosyan said that will give the plane a performance advantage.
The strongest prospects may be with new airlines, which may have difficulty getting delivery slots at Airbus and Boeing, where mounting backlogs can mean a wait of several years for a plane, particularly narrow-bodied ones, he said.
"Certainly, many airlines will be going for Boeing and Airbus," Pogosyan said. "But there are quite a number of new airlines emerging in the Pacific region that will want to have new products, and these new airlines would have to join a queue that lasts seven or eight years.
"They want new products right now, so this may be an advantage for us."