Aeroflot (SU, Moscow Sheremetyevo) has signed an agreement with Rostec unit Avia Capital Services for the delivery of fifty Irkut MC-21-300s on operating leases. With the contract, Aeroflot will become the type's largest customer with leasing payments and reserves for maintenance alone totalling more than USD5 billion.

In a disclosure to the MICEX bourse, Aeroflot said that under the first phase of the contract, the aircraft will be delivered with Pratt & Whitney PW1000G engines. However, from the 26th aircraft on, it has the option of receiving them with new Russian-built Aviadvigatel PD-14 motors, which are currently undergoing certification.

“In today’s geopolitical context we believe it is essential that there is competitive Russian-made technology, and that it is of the highest quality and competitively priced," Vitaly Saveliev, CEO of Aeroflot, said. "For this reason, our partnership with Rostec, our largest partner and a shareholder of Aeroflot, is of critical importance.”

In terms of deliveries, the first aircraft is scheduled to arrive during the first quarter of 2020, with the order planned to be completed by 2026. Each aircraft will be leased for a term of 12 years, with the option to roll over the contract on two-year extensions no more than three times.

Aeroflot plans to operate the aircraft with a total of 169 seats - 16 in business-class and 153 in economy - on both domestic and international routes.