Russia BY DAN RALEY
t has 146 million inhabitants
and spans one-seventh of the
planet’s landmass. Twelve
different seas wash up against its
coastline. Nine time zones intersect it.
For Russia, connecting everyone
within these far-reaching borders but
also beyond them is a sizable need.
For two and a half decades,
Boeing has played an important role
in advancing air travel from Moscow
to Siberia and the outside world,
supplying Russia and the nearby
Commonwealth of Independent States,
or CIS, with more than 400 commercial
airplanes operated by 54 airlines.
On a recent day at Boeing Field
near Seattle, for example, a newly
built orange, blue and silver Aeroflot
737-800 taxied to the runway to begin
the long journey to Russia, but not
before passing freshly painted jetliners
awaiting delivery to Turkmenistan
Airlines and Belavia Belarusian Airlines.
This busy exchange could be repeated
over and over as future demand strains
to keep up with projected growth for the
region—Russia and its neighbors are
expected to add 1,170 new airplanes
valued at $140 billion to their respective
commercial fleets over the next two
decades, according to the Boeing
20 | BOEING FRONTIERS
1 Russia gave world travel a boost
by opening its polar routes.
Since 2000, Russia has allowed outside
airlines to use its airspace, enabling
international flights to cross its polar
region—which greatly reduces travel
time between major hubs in Asia and the
United States and Canada. Passengers
previously had to stop in Europe or
Japan to reach those destinations.
As part of this, Boeing surveyed
the sparsely populated Siberian
region, identifying Russian airfields
there that qualified as suitable
The availability of the Russian
polar routes also has proved essential
for the sale of Boeing’s 777 Longer
Range and Extended Range models,
787 Dreamliner, and the coming 777X,
according to Sergey Kravchenko,
Boeing Russia/CIS president.
“The opening of the polar routes
has played a critical role in our global
business,” Kravchenko said.
Current Market Outlook.
Airplane sales, however, are only
part of a Boeing-Russia affinity. The
two share in space exploration, aviation
engineering, information technology,
titanium parts production and new
alloys development, a design center,
a flight training center, and more.
They have formed an international
partnership as diverse as any.
“Russia obviously has a great deal of
resources—human resources, a strong
suite of natural resources and great
technology,” said Marc Allen, Boeing
International president. “It’s got a sizable
economy that continues to generate
sustained airplane demand. And it
has been an important global player in
aerospace productivity, helping us lower
costs and win the market competition.
“It has taken us a lot of study and
real investment over the past two
decades to build our productivity model
in Russia. Today, it is a model we are
replicating in other environments, as
we build capability and presence to
remain the most competitive aerospace
company in the industry.”
Following are 10 things Boeing
employees might not know about
Russia and the aerospace ecosystem
to which it is home.