Three Russian airlines have reached an agreement to take delivery of eight Sukhoi Superjet 100s. Aeroflot will take five aircraft, while two will go to Azimuth, and one to Red Wings. The agreement between the carriers, PSB Leasing, and aircraft manufacturer Irkut is for the leased aircraft to be delivered over 2020/21.
Airlines enter lease deal for SJ100 aircraft
As reported by FlightGlobal on Monday, the leasing agreement with Irkut and PSB leasing will see Aeroflot, Azimuth, and Red Wings taking delivery of a total of eight Sukhoi SJ100 aircraft. Promsvyazbank, the state finance company with which PSB leasing is associated, will finance the deliveries through a line of credit opened to enable the airlines to acquire the twin-engine jets over the next year. The airlines’ lease payments will service the loans.
Sergei Ogienko, PSB Leasing’s general director, said,
“Production and operation of domestic civil aviation equipment is one of the priority tasks of the country’s economic development. The agreements signed are the first stage in the implementation of the largest deal in recent years for the supply of new passenger aircraft in the Russian aviation segment.”
Irkut, which builds the MC-21 twinjet and is part of the United Aircraft Corporation, has taken over Superjet 100 assembly, rebranding it as its regional airliner division. Oleg Gulyaev Irkut’s regional aircraft director, says the agreement with PSB Leasing and Promsvyazbank is an “important direction” for the Superjet program’s development.
Of the eight SJ100s being delivered, Aeroflot’s will be configured in a two-class layout, while the Azimuth and Red Wings aircraft will offer a single class.
Russian carriers to increase their Sukhoi SJ100 fleets
Russian flag carrier Aeroflot, which saw a full recovery of its domestic traffic in September, currently has a fleet of 54 Sukhoi SJ100s, with 41 in service. In ambitious plans revealed in July, the airline said that by 2028 it expects to have 600 aircraft, including 235 Russian-built planes, in its fleet.
Red Wings, the Moscow-based leisure airline, also has ambitions to add more Russian-made aircraft to its fleet. The carrier embarked on a project to be operating 60 SSj100s by 2024 as it seeks to increase its operations from more regional hubs. According to Planespotters.net, Red Wings has three SSJ100s, all of which are in service.
Russian regional airline Azimuth has a fleet made up of 12 Sukhoi SJ100s, which are all currently in service. The carrier turned a profit for the first time last year, before being hit with the current crisis.
The Sukhoi SJ100
The Sukhoi Superjet 100, known as the SSJ100, is a twinjet engine regional aircraft designed by Sukhoi and now assembled by Irkut. In 2006, the Russian government merged Irkut with Ilyushin, Mikoyan, Sukhoi, Tupolev, and Yakovlev as a new company called the United Aircraft Corporation. The SSJ100 carries between 87 and 98 passengers, depending on the configuration, and made its maiden flight in May 2008.
The aircraft has suffered from production problems, including a shortage of engines, defective parts, missed deadlines, and two fatal crashes. However, despite the problems, the SSJ100 seems to be making a comeback, and there are more than 130 of the aircraft in service around the world.