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August 1, 2012

Sukhoi Delivers 10th Superjet 100 to Aeroflot

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Written by: BNO News
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An Aeroflot Sukhoi Superjet 100 (RA-89004, named K.H. Tskhovrebov) taxis at Moscow - Sheremetyevo Airport. (Photo by Nikiforov Konstantin, via wikimedia)

Russian aircraft manufacturer Sukhoi has delivered its 10th Sukhoi Superjet 100 to Aeroflot, the company said on Wednesday. Other airlines are expected to start using the aircraft later this year.

Sukhoi President Vladimir Prisyazhnyuk said the aircraft manufacturer delivered its 10th production aircraft to Russian airline Aeroflot on Saturday during a meeting in Ulyanovsk, a city in Ulyanovsk Oblast in western Russia, where the companies signed the “Act of Delivery & Acceptance” document.

“The tenth delivery is great milestone for our company and our partners of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 Program,” he said. “We are very pleased that Aeroflot received our jubilee aircraft. Our experience gained in process of the aircraft acceptance by the airlines is definitely useful to facilitate the planned growth of the SSJ100 deliveries.”

The new aircraft, registered RA-89009 (MSN 95017), is scheduled to fly from Ulyanovsk to the Russian capital of Moscow on Thursday. It will be named after Soviet pilot Vasily Borisov who was awarded the title “Hero of the Soviet Union” for his service.

“The document, signed by the parties, states that the aircraft is technically sound and fully meets the performance criteria,” Sukhoi said in a statement. “The aircraft is ready to start commercial operation on Aeroflot’s domestic and international route network.”

Aeroflot, which plans to buy 126 Russian-built aircraft through 2020, previously ordered 30 Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft and intends to buy 10 more. The first Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft was delivered to Aeroflot in June 2011 and, including the recent delivery, the regional airline will now have received nine of the planes it ordered.

The only other Sukhoi Superjet 100 currently in service is being operated by Armenian airline Armavia, which received the aircraft in April 2011.

In late April of this year, the Aviation Authority of Mexico certified the Sukhoi Superjet 100, allowing it to operate in the country without limitations. Mexican airline Interjet signed a contract with Sukhoi in January 2011 to purchase 15 Superjet 100 aircraft, and the delivery of the first aircraft is scheduled for the end of this year.

The certification in Mexico came just days before a Superjet 100 crashed into a cliff on Mount Salak, a mountain near the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, killing all 45 people on board. The aircraft was participating in Sukhoi’s “Welcome Asia” roadshow to promote the Superjet 100 to airlines in a number of Asian countries.

The cause of the accident in May remains unknown, but investigators are focusing on pilot error or technical failure as two possibilities. If the cause was the latter, demand for the aircraft, which is the first civil aircraft to be built by Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union, could be wiped out.

Sukhoi began the certification process in Indonesia last week, and the decision by the country’s aviation authority will determine whether the Superjet 100 will be allowed to operate in Indonesian airspace. Indonesian airlines Sky Aviation and Kartika have ordered 42 Superjet 100 aircraft, with the first delivery to Sky Aviation expected later this year.

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