Rostec reported a possible delay in the start of commercial operation of the MS-21 aircraft

Photo by © Aviation of Russia

There will be no deliveries of MS-21 aircraft to airlines until the end of 2024, the start of commercial operations should not be expected earlier than 2025, this was stated by Sergey Chemezov, CEO of Rostec State Corporation, on the sidelines of the annual address of the President of the Russian Federation to the Federal Assembly.

The delivery of MS-21 passenger aircraft is postponed to 2025, “maybe even to 2026”, Interfax quotes his response to journalists. The Rostec head explained the reason for the delay by the fact that the aircraft tests have not yet been completed. The head of the company expressed concern for the safety of all passengers, emphasising the need to complete testing before mass production begins.

“We have tests not yet completed. As soon as the tests are completed, we will tell you the results at once. We are still concerned about the safety of all of us – we will be flying these aircraft. We would like to complete the tests as quickly as possible [to complete the tests], but I can’t say now…. We are waiting,” Chemezov said.

The comprehensive programme for the development of the aviation industry until 2030 provides that in 2024 the first six MS-21 aircraft should be handed over to Aeroflot.

Currently, the Irkutsk Aircraft Plant is assembling serial aircraft of the MS-21-310rus version. Several aircraft are awaiting deliveries of Russian components. There are also two prototype aircraft under modification in Irkutsk. It was expected that 73055 will take off after the replacement of imported units in November 2023, 73057 according to the original plans should take off in the second half of April this year.

According to information from IAZ, the aircraft are not yet ready to resume flights in the Russified form, the reason being the shift in schedules of aircraft equipment deliveries by Russian enterprises.