Aeroflot to Remain Only Buyer of Superjet 100 Aircraft This Year

Russian aircraft maker Sukhoi has not confirmed orders this year for its passenger jet, the Superjet 100, two sources told Reuters.

The company’s model, conceived as a rival to Airbus, Bombardier, and Embraer, now only has a long-standing deal with state carrier Aeroflot, two sources told Reuters.

The aircraft, which entered service in 2011 and was the first passenger jet built in Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union, has had a troubled history despite the state pouring billions of dollars into its development. Last year, a Superjet crash-landed in Moscow, killing 41 people.

Sukhoi Civil Aircraft, which is controlled by Russian state holding company Rostec, had hoped to sell hundreds. But slack demand and servicing problems and delays in sourcing spare parts, means only 142 of the planes are in use.

Aeroflot, which currently has 54 Superjets in its fleet, is expected to receive up to 17 more this year, Russia’s Trade and Industry ministry told Reuters. The carrier signed a long-term contract in 2018 to lease 100 Superjets between 2019 and 2026.

But two sources familiar with the firm’s plans told Reuters that Sukhoi currently has no other customers lined up for 2020.

“(The Superjet project) depends on a government decision about state support, because it does not yet work commercially,” one of the two sources said.

The Superjet is predominantly operated inside Russia by regional airlines, corporations and government entities. It has had mixed success with foreign carriers.

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