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Western or bust
01 November 2005
Steve Thompson, editor of Concise Aerospace, the leading Russian aviation newswire, looks at how Russian airlines are paying import taxes.
The issue of fuel efficiency among Russia's dwindling fleet
of Soviet-era aircraft is confronting Russian airlines with a
dilemma. Keep flying obsolete and fuel-inefficient Russian
aircraft and suffer the impact of rising and seemingly
uncontrollable increases in costs, or alternatively pay the
premium for the import of western aircraft created by the
country's duty and taxation barriers.
The barriers are designed to protect a domestic aerospace
industry that is scarcely producing aircraft and where almost
all the major aircraft producers are barely functioning. Both
options have marked impacts on carriers' already challenged
bottom lines, but for many the only competitive option has
become the acquisition of western aircraft.
For major carriers over the past two years, the logic of
leasing western aircraft has become increasingly
The spurious benefits of operating Soviet-era aircraft, that
are fundamentally ill-suited to modern civil aviation, are fast
disappearing because the advantages of acquiring the...
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