Aeroflot lets 787 slots expire, retires Il-86

Russian flag carrier Aeroflot lost twenty-two production slots last week for the Boeing 787 aircraft because the government wouldn't approve its order. "The original conditions on the contract have expired... We will now be looking for other alternatives. We remain in contact with Boeing," said Aeroflot Deputy CEO Lev Koshlyakov.

Originally Aeroflot remained undecided between the A350 and the 787 and seemed like it would split its order both ways. Alexander Lebedev, owner of 30% of Aeroflot, cut a deal with Boeing to give it the production slots basically as a time extension so that Aeroflot's board could confirm the order, which it has yet to do.

Aeroflot also announced last month that it plans to retire the Ilyushin Il-86 from service later this month. Aeroflot's Deputy Director General Igor Desyatnichenko said that the planes will be retired November 15, and that they were "too costly to keep them through the winter and fly just two or three months in the summer". He also said that the planes, which aren't very fuel efficient, didn't meet European environmental and noise regulations.

The Il-86 was introduced in 1980 and was the first Russian wide-bodied airliner. Aeroflot and other airlines have used (and continue to use) the aircraft on tourist flights to southern resort towns in the Caucasus during the summer months.