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Antonov cuts Russian ties

September 14 - According to reports in the Ukrainian media, Antonov has confirmed that it has severed all ties with Russian enterprises, including its long-term partner Volga-Dnepr Airlines.

A report on Ukraine Today suggested that none of the AN series of aircraft will be produced in 2016, since a number of Russian components will be missing.

Antonov reportedly said that it would seek to replace missing Russian components with those of other producers to finish production of uncompleted airplanes.

Following the announcement, there were a number of reports released suggesting that Antonov was attempting to freeze Russian AN-124 operations.

Antonov responded to these rumours, clarifying that it has not yet demanded such a ban and will only do so if Volga-Dnepr moves support functions for the aircraft to another company.

The Ukrainian airline made it clear in a statement on its website that as the designer of the AN-124 aircraft and the Type Certificate holder, it is the only company able to work on or amend the aircraft, and any freighters which had been altered by other companies would not be permitted to fly.

The severing of Russia-Ukraine ties would likely see the end of Ruslan International - the joint venture company set up by Antonov Airlines and Volga-Dnepr Airlines to jointly market their combined fleet of AN-124 aircraft.

In a statement, Antonov noted that it is completing construction of a new AN-132D aircraft without the participation of Russian companies, and will begin production of a new AN-178 series without its longstanding partner in 2017.

Antonov also recently announced that it was putting the AN-225 aircraft back into production, after signing an agreement with the Aerospace Industry Corporation of China (AICC).

HLPFI will continue to cover this story as the situation develops.

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