Boeing and Aeroflot signed a deal Saturday for the Russian carrier to acquire 22 Dreamliner jets from the American plane maker.
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — Boeing and Aeroflot signed a deal Saturday for the Russian carrier to acquire 22 Dreamliner jets from the American plane maker.
Scott Carson, Boeing Co.’s commercial airplanes chief, said delivery of the 787 Dreamliners to Aeroflot would begin in 2014.
A deal for the acquisition had long been in the works, but it appeared to have foundered since late last year amid a chill in relations between Washington and Moscow.
Asked if the deal represented the healing of the political rift, Carson said: “It represents a business relationship between us and Aeroflot, and we’re very proud of that relationship.”
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Aeroflot CEO Valery Okulov, who signed the agreement with Carson, acknowledged that the deal was worth billions of dollars, but refused to reveal a specific figure.
Carson presented Okulov with a model of the 787 Dreamliner, the first commercial jet that will be made mostly of light, sturdy carbon-fiber composites instead of aluminum.
The deal, which had not been announced in advance, served as a centerpiece for an eceonmic forum Russian President Vladimir Putin is using to showcase his country.
Okulov said last September that Aeroflot management had proposed buying 22 of Boeing Co.’s 787 Dreamliner jets and 22 Airbus 350 XWB.
Okulov said the deal would not affect existing orders with Airbus. In March, Aeroflot confirmed that it had signed letters of intent to buy the 22 Airbus planes.
In February, Aeroflot deputy general director Lev Koshlyakov said negotiations with Chicago-based Boeing were on hold and suggested frosty relations Russia-U.S. relations were at least partly to blame.
Relations have not improved since then, although tension over U.S. plans to deploy missile defense installations in Central Europe eased at least temporarily at a Group of Eight summit when the United States agreed to consider Russia’s offer of joint use of a radar station it leases in Azerbaijan.