Aeroflot Declines to Confirm Boeing Order

Russia's largest airline Aeroflot said on Friday that it had decided not to confirm a multi-billion-dollar order for 22 Boeing 787 aircraft within a deadline agreed with the US plane maker.

"The deadline has expired," Aeroflot spokeswoman Irina Danenberg told AFP.

The decision on whether to order aircraft from Boeing or from European rival Airbus is widely seen as political, particularly in light of strained relations between Moscow and Washington.

Moreover, Russian state-owned bank Vneshtorgbank recently bought a 5.02-percent stake in Airbus parent company EADS.

Aeroflot head Valery Okulov announced at the end of September his "intention" to buy the aircraft from 2010 in an order estimated to be worth around 2.5 billion dollars (1.9 billion euros).

But Aeroflot is majority-owned by the Russian state, and government representatives on the carrier's board are believed to favour an order with Airbus instead.

Source: AFP

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