MOSCOW - A Russian state-owned company said Friday it will pay $3.7 billion for 50 new Boeing 737 Next Generation airliners that will then be leased to the national carrier Aeroflot.
Russian Technologies, which manages the government's stakes in a dozen regional airlines, said in a statement that the deal also includes an option to buy a further 35 jetliners.
The company's director general Sergei Chemezov said in the statement that the purchase "will help take a step forward in making the Russian airline industry and Russian airlines more competitive on the global market".
A company official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with company policy, told The Associated Press the jets will be leased to Russia's biggest airline, Aeroflot, where the government directly holds a 51.2 percent stake.
The medium range jets are meant to help Aeroflot upgrade its increasingly aging fleet.
Russian Technologies, which does not currently own a stake in Aeroflot, is going to transfer its airline assets to the carrier in exchange for a stake in the airline.
Chemezov was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying on Friday that Russian Technologies hopes to get one seat on Aeroflot's board.