Moscow: Russia on Wednesday presented a new medium-range passenger plane which state media said was superior to its Western-made counterparts in many respects and would be snapped up by both Russian and foreign carriers.
In a glitzy ceremony at a factory in Siberia attended by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Irkut Corporation (IRKT.MM) rolled out its new MC-21 passenger plane which is still undergoing testing but is due to enter serial production next year. The plane is sometimes also known as MS-21.
Medvedev hailed the new twin-engine short and medium-range aircraft as "cool," saying it was important that Russia remained in what he called the top league of aircraft makers despite the high costs involved.
Squeezed by Western sanctions over its role in the Ukraine crisis, the Russian government is trying to rejuvenate domestic industrial production to make the country less dependant on foreign firms.
"I only want to say that I am absolutely certain that the airliner will be the pride of Russian civil aviation, and that our citizens and foreign people will take pleasure in flights on MC-21," said Medvedev.