Russia has outlined plans to remove tax breaks on imported commercial airliners. Under current arrangements, Western-built aircraft carrying between 50 and 300 passengers and weighing between 20 and 90 tonnes, are exempt from import taxes. This includes popular types such as the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737, of which there are 262 and 172 examples in service with Russian airlines respectively, along with the Embraer E-Jet family.
However, while this arrangement is in place until 2023, the ministry for industry – in collaboration with its transport and economy counterparts – has suggested this could now be scrapped as early as 2019. The mooted changes are part of wider reaching plans to promote and protect domestically produced equipment such as the Irkut MC-21 and the Sukhoi Superjet 100, which will also include a mandate that all aircraft acquired by state-owned enterprises be built in Russia.
According to local press reports, the number of Western-built aircraft flying in the country now stands at 570 airframes, up 16% since July 2016. This compares with just 65 SSJ100s, while the MC-21 is not expected to enter service for another two years.