Wednesday, April 21, 2010

PICTURES: Antonov unveils first An-158 regional jet


 © Vladimir Karnozov

Ukraine's manufacturer Antonov has unveiled its new An-158 regional twin-jet, a stretched variant of the baseline An-148.The jet, registered UR-NTN, is a modified prototype An-148 airframe and carries the colours of Ukrainian carrier AeroSvit.
During a ceremony in Kiev, Antonov chief Dmitry Kiva said the type, which is designed to accomodates 99 passengers, represented a further step in developing the An-148 aircraft family.
"There are now more options for our customers and wider marketing opportunities for us," he says, expecting the An-158 to become airborne on 9 May and its certification to be completed before 2011.
The Moscow government airline Atlant-Soyuz has an order for 30 Antonov regional jets. This includes 10 An-158s, due for delivery in 2012, plus five in VIP configuration in 2011-12.
Leasing company Ilyushin Finance, which acts as Antonov's marketing agent, expects Moscow's government to provide financial guarantees for the deal in May.
By Tom Zaitsev (FlightGlobal)

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