Volga-Dnepr Group / Press-center / Media Coverage

Aviators of the two countries, unite

10/19/2006

Leaders of aircraft-building industry suggested establishing Russia/Ukraine Managing Company.

Russia and Ukraine aircraft-building companies have fallen to thinking of consolidation. In what connection, the point at issue is not just cooperation under certain projects, but general consolidation of the industry. At least, the topic was tackled at the last meeting of Russia/Ukraine Inter-governmental Aviation Industry Cooperation Board. But project cooperation is so far possible for AN-124 manufacturers only.

Ukraine and Russia aircraft building industries have had close cooperation ties since as early as Soviet Union time. Despite certain latest disagreements, the aircraft manufacturers of the two countries have worked jointly under several projects. These include AN-124 Ruslan Freighter Resumed Production, AN-148 and AN-140 joint production, and also development and assembly the companies of the two countries AI-222-25 and AI-222-25F aircraft engines, D-436 and AI-450 Series engines.

Although, even such high-level cooperation no longer suits the aircraft manufacturers. According to a source from an aircraft production company, at the next meeting of Russia/Ukraine Aviation Industry Board held on 10 October, the aircraft manufacturers of the two countries agreed to recommend to the Governments of the two countries to consider possibility to establish joint Russia/Ukraine aircraft-building company. “it is still unclear which principles will become a basis for such venture, as establishment of OAK is underway in Russia, while similar company is being established in Ukraine. Therefore the Prime Ministers of the two countries were proposed to consider establishing joint managing company, which will undertake consolidation mechanism”, reported the source.

The idea of consolidation was initiated during discussion of a suggestion by Alexey Isaikin, Volga-Dnepr President and co-owner, on establishment of a joint Russia/Ukraine managing company to manage AN-124 freighter resumed production project. “Vladimir Ryzhov, Board leader on the Ukraine side and Deputy Minister Industry Strategy, noted at the meeting there was no reason to establish a managing company for a single project, and suggested for the MC to cover AN-140 and AN-148 projects,” said the source.

However, in the formal minutes of the meeting (RBC daily has a copy available) this suggestion is stated more softly: “The parties have recognized expedient to intensify efforts towards enhanced cooperation between aviation industry companies of Russia and Ukraine, and search for new cooperation areas...” AN-124 was the luckiest of the projects, as the following was stated in the minutes of the meeting: "The parties have considered expedient to continue activities aimed at establishing joint venture, a company to manage the projects of joint serial production of aircraft".

“We are ready to most proactively participate in the AN-124 project implementation. But we are concerned about the matter of principle: whether or not will the AN-124 managing company be established?” says Alexey Isaikin.

Samara-based Aviacor aircraft building corporation was among initiators of the idea not to establish boards and committees, but rather an entity to manage development and manaufacture of airrcaft, says Sergey Likhachev, Aviacor General Director. Contractual relationships are already insufficient. “We have signed an MOU defining activities of Russia and Ukraine’s airrcaft building industries,and also will prepare relevant materials for the meeting of the two Prome Ministers,” said Anatoly Mialitsa, Director of Antonov Corporation in his interview to RBC-Ukraine. He also believes, there should be a comprehensive approach to bilateral cooperation in airrcaft manufacture, without laying emphasis on any separate projects. NP ОАК is still unwilling to discuss a merger of the two countries’ aviation industries. “There’s nothing to unite untill ОАК is established. Only after OAK is established it will be clear, whether to cooperate under single joint projects or introduce cross-shareholdings,” says Maxim Sysoyev, NP ОАК representative.

RBC daily

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