Boeing, Sukhoi, Ilyushin Initiate Regional Jet Feasibility Study

The Boeing Company, Sukhoi Civil Aviation, and the Ilyushin Design Bureau today announced a cooperative effort to determine the feasibility of jointly designing, manufacturing, certifying, marketing, selling and servicing a new regional jet for global operations.

The feasibility study encompasses market research and development of a joint market forecast, analysis of issues regarding the product development and certification of a Russian-built airplane for export, and preparing preliminary business plans that will form the basis for evaluation of a possible joint airplane program.

"We already have established strong working relationships with our Russian partners and are ready to take the next step," said Alan Mulally, president and chief executive officer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "We have agreed to work jointly with Sukhoi and Ilyushin to determine whether we can produce a new regional jet below 100 seats that meets the market's needs effectively. The regional market is an exciting and challenging one, one that is consistent with our fundamental belief that people want to fly directly, point-to-point, with fast, efficient jet service."

Mikhail Pogosyan, the leader of Sukhoi, also expressed enthusiasm.

"A joint program with Ilyushin and Boeing is a wonderful opportunity to address the needs of the regional jet market in Russia, the CIS and globally," Pogosyan said. "Our cooperation has great potential, and we share a common vision. The immediate challenge is this feasibility study, after which we will determine our next steps."

Viktor Livanov, President of Ilyushin, said he believes the project will meet the requirements of the Russian and international market and lead to stronger cooperation between the Russian aerospace industry and The Boeing Company.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes, which is headquartered in Renton, Wash., is the world's largest producer of commercial airplanes. Every 24 hours, three million passengers board 42,300 flights on Boeing jetliners. The Boeing family includes the Boeing 717, a 106-passenger airplane that is ideally suited for the short-range, high-frequency, quick-turnaround market. The company continues to evaluate possible products and services to participate in the market below 100 seats.

Sukhoi Civil is the newly incorporated subsidiary of Sukhoi, one of the world's largest producers of military aircraft. Ilyushin is one of Russia's most successful civil airplane enterprises, with over 1,000 Ilyushin aircraft flying internationally. Boeing has other significant cooperative programs in Russia, including joint Design and Technology Centers, titanium programs, new trans-Siberian routes, International Space Station and Sea Launch.

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Viktor Anoshkin
Lori Gunter