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LET Aircraft Industries

More than 8,000 aircraft of various types have been built in LET Aircraft Industries over its 70-year existence. The beginning of the story of LET dates back to 1936 when a branch of AVIA Letnany was built in Kunovice to service AVIA planes. During the WWII the company was forced to repair the Junkers W34 and Arado Ar 96b for Luftwaffe and after the war it worked on almost all the types of aeroplanes that were flying in Czechoslovakia.

After the collapse of Mutual Economic Assistance, hard times have come to the manufacturers of the L-410 aircraft. The Russian Federation stopped purchasing the L-410. This situation lasted until the Ural Mining and Metallurgical Combination became the co-owner of the Czech LET company. Deliveries were subsequently restored. Russian airlines buy two types of aircraft - the Czech L-410 and the Canadian Twin Otter 400. The Czech machine is, thanks to lower price, more popular with Russian carriers.

At the beginning of the 1950 begun the construction of a new aeronautical company, which first produced the Russian JAK 11 and the AERO Ae 45 and AERO Ae 145. In 1957 the company begun to develop the famous L 200 Morava and four years later the Z 37 Bumble Bee, which both brought a huge commercial success. For a period of time LET also produced a light training aircraft L 29. Over the years LET developed and produced a number of different gliders Zlin Z 22, Z 124 Galanka, LF 109 Pioneer, Z 425 Sohaj. However the most popular gliders produced in LET are the famous Blaniks L 13, L 23 and L 33. Over two hundred clubs and one hundred individuals operate Blanik gliders in North America, in addition to institutional operators, such as the U.S. Civil Air Patrol and the U.S. Air Force. As of August 2006, almost 500 Blanik gliders are registered in the United States and Canada.

During the 1960s LETs engineers developed a 19 seat commuter turboprop the L 410, of which more than 1,000 were produced since then. This popular aircraft has gone through a number of improvements and modernisations and the current types, the L 410 UVP-E20 and L 420 are EASA and FAA certified respectively. In December 2011, Aircraft Industries, a.s. and Interglobe Established Pvt. Ltd. have concluded a Representative Agreement for promoting and supporting sales of L 410 aircraft in India, Bhutan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Maldives. Cooperation of the Companies has already resulted in issuance of Acceptance Type Certificate for L410 UVP-E20 by Indian DGCA, which will allow using the proven and reliable L 410 aircraft on the local routes in a near future.

In September 2005 the company was acquired by the Czech private group PAMCO and new company under the trade name Aircraft Industries was formed. In June 2008 the Russian industrial holding Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company (UGMK) acquired 51% of company shares. The Russian leasing company Ilyushin Finance and Aircraft Industries signed a memorandum of understanding about deliveries of 10 aircrafts L-410 UVP-E20 during 2013 - 2014 and take options on three more in 2015. This arrangement was realized during the Farnborough International Airshow which took place beginning July 2012.

Aircraft Industries problems arose in 2016 due to the situation in Russia, where it sends most of the machines. Airplanes from Kunovice in the Russian market have been greatly offset by the weakening of the ruble against the dollar. In 2016, the company did not sell a single machine to Russia, selling four aircraft to Bangladesh and Algeria in total, and only five aircraft were delivered, all to Russia. From May to October 2016, the company faced insolvency proceedings. In addition, in September, her unions held a weekly stand-by. The reason was the fear of moving the factory to Russia and the company's debt to employees in the form of unpaid benefits. Unions called strike alert after the debt was settled. At the meeting with Minister of Industry and Trade Jan Mladek (CSSD), the Russian AI owners promised that the production of the L-410 aircraft will remain at the Kunovice plant.

By mid-2017, after a year and a half, all eight hundred employees of the company returned to Aircraft Industries. It ended a forced break when workers were at home at the end of 2015 at 60% wage. In 2017, the company has signed contracts for the production of twelve L410 UVP-E20 aircraft.

Aircraft Industries will train the staff of the future Russian factory at Ekaterinburg, where airplanes L-410 would be built after 2018. The large aircraft components will continue to be produced in Kunovice, and cooperation with the Russian plant should help the company.

By mid-2017 information in the media about the plans of the Ural Civil Civil Aircraft to virtually completely relocate the production of the Czech aircraft L-410 to Russia caused unrest in the trade unions.

But Chief Executive Officer Vadim Badech stated 28 June 2017 "We are not withdrawing from last year's agreement - Ural Civil Aviation does not aim to fully relocate the L-410 ... In particular, we plan to deliver a new quality airplane and customize it, making it more suitable for a particular consumer. This includes the fitting of Russian onboard equipment, skis and structures for landing on the water, which extends the landing of the L-410 and thus the airplane's possibilities, making it demanded in the appropriate climatic and geographic conditions. This will mean an increase in the sales volume of this aircraft worldwide. As for Alexander Platon's statement (chief designer of the Ural civil aviation plant, Alexandr Platonov, told Russian mediaabout plans to locate production in Russia), the desire of our co-workers to locate L-410 is understandable and even praiseworthy, but it does not meet the goals of the companies: we do not see the sense of 100% localization. What to invent what they have invented before us.... The L-410 will remain a Czech airplane, but ... with Russian finishing."

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Page last modified: 14-04-2018 17:55:11 ZULU