UPDATE 1-Russian airline hit by EU sanctions says signs draft Boeing plane deal

Wed Aug 6, 2014 9:05am EDT

(Adds comments from Dobrolyot, details, context)

MOSCOW Aug 6 (Reuters) - Russian low-cost airline Dobrolyot, currently grounded by European Union sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, said on Wednesday it signed a draft agreement with Boeing to buy 16 new planes.

Dobrolyot, run by state-controlled Aeroflot, suspended all flights last week after its lease agreement for Boeing aircraft was cancelled under EU sanctions because it flies to Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in March.

Under the new, still-provisional contract, the Boeing-737-800 planes would be delivered in 2017-2018, a Dobrolyot spokesman said, adding the airline had paid a deposit on Monday.

"From 2017 on there will be deliveries directly from a factory in Seattle," news website Gazeta.ru quoted Andrei Kalmykov, Dobrolyot Chief Executive Officer, as saying in an interview earlier on Wednesday.

Dobrolyot was making "tremendous efforts" to resume flying, the spokesman added.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev threatened on Tuesday to retaliate for the grounding of Dobrolyot, with business daily Vedomosti reporting that European flights to Asia over Siberia could be restricted.

Boeing was not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov and Maria Kiselyova; Writing by Polina Devitt, editing by John Stonestreet)

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