Just three days ago a report surfaced that Bombardier’s plans for a Russian production facility are being delayed. Now it seems that a year delay might be a fading dream.
This morning another report from Russia tells a new story. If the Russian Deputy Prime Minister is to be taken seriously, Bombardier’s plans might get delayed a lot longer than one year.
The Il-114 is a 64-seater turboprop. It has modern engines from PWC (similar to those on the ATR) and Rockwell Collins gear on the flight deck. While the aircraft looks to be a reasonable project, only 20 were built.
The Il-114 may be a “good enough” replacement for the Q400 in the Russian market. Had the Il-114 been a much better aircraft it would have sold more than 20. But given the turmoil in Russia’s economy and the downstream impact on its aerospace industry, Russian airlines have tended to look to the west for aircraft. If the Russian government is able to lean on its airlines to buy local, the Il-114 stands a good chance.
It is impossible for Russian airlines to replace single and twin aisle jets with local alternatives. But in terms of replacing a turboprop, this is much less of a challenge. The fact that the Q400 is more modern and has better economics could be overlooked. Russian politics may require a “sacrifice”.