- The state-owned carrier, Russia's largest by far, took delivery in March of the first of 11 of the widebody passenger aircraft it had ordered from the European aerospace giant.
MOSCOW: Russia's flagship airline Aeroflot will delay accepting delivery of 10 Airbus A350-900s after much of its fleet was grounded by the coronavirus pandemic, its chief said in an interview published Wednesday.
The state-owned carrier, Russia's largest by far, took delivery in March of the first of 11 of the widebody passenger aircraft it had ordered from the European aerospace giant.
"We are delaying receiving the rest, probably by a year or two Today we have nowhere to fly them," Aeroflot CEO Vitaly Saveliev said in the interview with state news agency TASS.
"We are negotiating on the transfer of payments," he said.
The Soviet-era airline is a major global player and in recent years has been modernising its fleet with significant purchases from Airbus and Boeing.
Like airlines everywhere it has been hit hard by the pandemic, with a 54 percent drop in passengers for the Aeroflot group, which includes low-cost airline Pobeda, in the first six months of the year.
Saveliev said Aeroflot would go ahead, however, with the purchase of several Sukhoi Superjet 100s this year as required by the Russian government to promote the domestic aerospace industry.
"Aeroflot confirmed the purchase of national planes to the industry ministry. Despite the serious situation, we will receive eight SSJ-100s this year and 14 more next year," he said.