by Peter Van Dyk
Boeing won a multibillion-dollar contract to build as many as 65 planes for a Russian state airline, beating off rival bids from Europe's Airbus and a Russian supplier. It will deliver 50 midrange planes with an option for 15 more. Specifics of the planes to be purchased will be decided in the near future, according to Russian Technologies.
The Boeing deal is especially significant because Russia has pressured domestic carriers to buy Russian planes to revive the domestic aviation sector. Andrew Somers, president and CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia, says the deal shows that good politics is good business. "I think it's a big coup for Boeing, because it's not only Russian manufacturers but other foreign manufacturers, so Boeing won on this one. It reflects continuing efforts to stimulate trade between the two countries."