Russia's tariff commission agreed to cut import taxes in half for the most popular passenger planes made by Airbus SAS (EAD) and Boeing Co. (BA:US), aiding efforts by the rivals to expand in one of the world's fastest growing airline markets.
The commission approved slashing charges to 8 percent on aircraft with fewer than 50 seats and to 10 percent for planes with 115 to 160 seats, an aide to Economy Minister German Gref said. The tax now is 20 percent of a plane's value.
``Airlines are growing, traffic is up, more planes are needed and Russian aircraft producers haven't made a timely offer,'' the aide, Igor Konkov, said by phone in Moscow today. The commission, which will submit its proposal to the government for approval today, is also considering ending the 18 percent value-added tax on imported jets, Konkov said.
Russia's 180 airlines, including state-run OAO Aeroflot, eastern Europe's biggest, are seeking to modernize Soviet-era fleets amid surging travel demand in an economy expanding for a ninth year. Lowering aircraft taxes was one of the concessions Russia made last year when it won U.S. backing to join the World Trade Organization, which it has been trying to do for 15 years.
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