Russia’s newest Irkut MC-21-300 jet makes first international flight to Turkey

The latest Russian passenger jet, the Irkut MC-21-300, has made its first international flight to Turkey, the aircraft producer has announced.

The plane took off from Zhukovsky International Airport near Moscow on Monday and flew 2,400 km to Istanbul Ataturk Airport in about three and a half hours.

“The flight was normal. The aircraft and its systems have performed well during the flight. For the first time a part of our route was over the sea,” the pilot said.

The public will be able to take a sneak peak at the new narrow-body airliner with a passenger interior when it is presented at the Teknofest Aerospace and Technology Festival, which takes place September 17-22 in Istanbul. The MC-21-300 will also take to the skies as a part of the show’s flight program, according to the plane’s producer, United Aircraft Corporation (UAC).

Russia’s newest airliner made its public debut at the MAKS-2019 air show in late August, when Russian and Turkish leaders, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, took a look inside the jet.

UAC hopes the MC-21-300 could become a potential competitor to Boeing’s ill-fated 737 MAX. The airliner has successfully gone through several tests and is expected to receive certification from both in Russian and European regulators by 2021.