"North Korea has expressed an interest in buying new Russian aircraft. We operate lines between Pyongyang and Vladivostok and, of course, we would like to see more advanced and safe machines, "Neverov told TASS. He led a Russian parliamentary delegation in the main North Korean city.
Neither party has yet specified the quantity and type of aircraft that could be a future contract. According to aviation expert Petr Kováč, this is probably the Superjet 100 model, produced by one of the largest manufacturers of Russian aircraft: the Sukhoi.
"Russia is trying to offer this medium-sized aircraft intensively in international markets, but it is not going well. Not that the plane was of poor quality, but the service being built with Airbus and Boeing for many years is not only accumulating for Sukhoi. It's a matter of spare parts, for example, "says Kováč. Production of the SSJ-100 amounted to more than $ 1.5 billion, and up to $ 400 million of that was government money.
"The DPRK would be the best customer. If they can take care of the open-air museum of well-maintained but old airplanes, they should not have problems with the not-so-perfect service network that Sukhoi owns, "adds Kováč, adding that trade would be beneficial to both sides. The North Koreans would have received the necessary aircraft and the Russians would have paid to build a competitive service network. However, international sanctions against North Korea can complicate trade.
Sukhoi has produced more than 150 SSJ-100 aircraft to date, with Aeroflot, Interjet, Yamal Airlines and Gazpromavia being the main customers.
Currently, Air Koryo flies to 26 destinations, focusing mainly on China. The fleet of aircraft is composed of Antonov, Ilyushin and Tupolev aircraft.