AP) — A Russian state-owned company will buy 50 new Boeing 737 Next Generation airliners in a deal worth $3.7 billion, the firm said Friday.
Russian Technologies, which manages the government's stakes in a dozen regional airlines, said in a statement that the deal also includes an option for a further 35 jetliners.
The purchase "will help make a step forward in making the Russian airline industry and Russian airlines more competitive on the global market," said Sergei Chemezov, the company's director general.
A company official, who asked not to be identified by name, citing the company's policy, told he Associated Press the jets will be leased to Russia's biggest airline Aeroflot, where the government holds 51.2 percent.
The medium-range jet will help Aeroflot upgrade its increasingly aging fleet.
Russian Technologies announced the tender for new midrange jets in 2009 to use them for a new national airline, but those plans have been scrapped. Russian Technologies is now going to transfer its airline assets to Aeroflot in exchange for a stake in Russia's biggest airline.
Chemezov was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying Friday that Russian Technologies hopes to get one seat of Aeroflot's board.