Controversy and hype: Russia paints its MC-21s in American and Lufthansa liveries


Russia is at war in Ukraine, sanctioned by all Western developments and struggling to do business with most of the world. Still, state-owned manufacturer Rostec, which is 92% owned by the local government, has made a photomontage and posted it on its media channels showing how its MC-21 aircraft would look like both in American Airlines and Lufthansa liveries.

Along with the photo, Rostec commented that if American Airlines wants to it could be flying such an aircraft within 5 to 10 years. The chance of that happening is zero, but the joke goes viral on the networks and helps the promotion of the aircraft, considered to be the main achievement of the Russian aviation industry of the 21st century so far.

Compared to its Western competitors, the MC-21 will have a two-cabin configuration with a capacity of 132 to 163 passengers, smaller than a Boeing 737 MAX 8 and an Airbus A320. In addition, the MC-21’s range is 3,200 to 3,500 nautical miles, less than the 737 MAX and much less than the A321XLR.

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However, despite the sales boost, the vast majority of MC-21s produced are likely to stay even in Russia, especially at Aeroflot. Rostec says it has 175 orders for the model and the only foreign customer so far is Azerbaijan Airlines.

As reported by our partner media Aeroin, the likelihood of Western companies acquiring the Russian machinery will depend on cost savings and a radical turnaround in after-sales support (the Russians’ weak point), if and only if sanctions are lifted.

Pablo Díaz (diazpez)
Pablo Díaz (diazpez)
Director Editorial de Aviacionline. Ante todo, data-driven.


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