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Airbus Taps Russian Carrier
The Russian aviation carrier Polet, which specializes in shipping oversized and especially heavy cargoes, has been named a designated carrier of Airbus Transport International, a division of the Airbus aircraft manufacturer. That status will guarantee Polet orders from Airbus in 2006, for which it will use three Ruslan An-124-100 craft. Analysts estimate that the contract should be worth at least $30 million in the course of a year. Polet declined to comment on the financial aspects of the deal.
The Voronezh-based Polet was founded in 1994. Its main stockholder is thought to be its general director Anatoly Karpov. It occupies 20 percent of the world market for extra-heavy and oversized load aviation shipping, behind the Russian Volga-Dnepr and Ukrainian Antonov Airlines companies. It also makes passenger flights. Its income in 2004 was $35.8 million. At Polet, they explained that they expect to be involved in the transport of astronautic equipment manufactured by the EADS concern, which owns 80 percent of Airbus and full-size components of a model of the A380 model plane.

It is a serious success, commented Sergey Shklyannik, vice president of the Volga-Dnepr group of companies, which is now on negotiations with Boeing to shipping its components. The main problem will be maintaining a high level of flight readiness, since they are now in essence a element in the Airbus technical chain.

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