On June 6, 2016, meeting of the Antonov Company's management with Mr. Dzhahangir Askerov, President of AZAL JSC, and other heads of Azerbaijan companies was held.
On June 6, 2016, meeting of the Antonov Company's management with Mr. Dzhahangir Askerov, President of AZAL JSC, and other heads of Azerbaijan companies was held. Development of further cooperation within the program of the AN−178 multipurpose transport was discussed.
On behalf of government of Azerbaijan, Mr. Askerov declared about the country's intensions to launch the AN−178 production: “We are a launch customer of this aircraft. The proper agreement was signed last year, on the day of the aircraft maiden flight, on May 7, 2015. After that we followed the AN−178 presentation in Dubai, Paris and Berlin.
“At present, we are watching over the aircraft tests. In 2018, we intend to receive the first two AN−178s, other eight airplanes – some later. I suppose, that at the middle of 2018, when the first AN−178 to be delivered, the production facilities for the aircraft assembly will be ready in Azerbaijan.”
Commenting upon his choice Mr. Askerov said: “We have a vast experience of the AN−12 transport operation. That is a good aircraft, but its service life is coming to the end. So, we have to replace it with a modern freighter. Excluding the AN−178, the market proposes Brazilian KC−390. But we like the AN−178 more, in particular, because of its price. Antonov has developed the cargo aircraft meeting all the modern standards and requirements. Besides, comparing with the AN−12, the AN−178 has a number of advantages.”
According to Mykhaylo Gvozdov, President of Antonov Company, “We appreciate readiness of Azerbaijan to develop interaction within the AN−178 program. We are discussing launch of the aircraft in this country. Of course, Ukrainian companies will take part in cooperation of the AN−178 production.”