Russia’s VEB May Seek Embraer, Bombardier Help to Make New Plane

Russia’s state development bank VEB wants to finance the creation of a new regional jetliner following last week’s air crash that killed a local hockey team, Chairman Vladimir Dmitriev said.

Russia’s own producer, United Aircraft Corp., can team up with Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica SA, known as Embraer, Montreal-based Bombardier Inc. or European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. to develop an airplane with fewer than 50 seats, he told reporters today.

“We have a catastrophic situation in aviation today,” Dmitriev, who is also chairman of United Aircraft, told a news conference in Sochi, on Russia’s Black Sea coast.

A chartered Yakovlev-42 plane carrying Russia’s Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team crashed on Sept. 7 during takeoff, killing 43 of the 45 crew and passengers on board. President Dmitry Medvedev said a day after the crash that Russia may turn to foreign planemakers to ensure safe air travel.

The number of air accidents in Russia in the first seven months soared 60 percent to 24 and the number of fatalities jumped nine-fold to 72, Federal Statistics Service data show.

Russia’s air carriers increased the number foreign aircraft in their fleets to 528 from 46 units in 2000, according to the country’s aviation agency, Rosaviatsia. Domestic airplanes account for 48 percent of the 608 mid-range and long-range passenger jets now in operation.

Dmitriev said in April 2010 that his bank was in talks with Embraer to make regional airplanes at a production plant in Kazan in Russia’s Tatarstan region.

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