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SuperJet SSJ100 on track for November certification

posted Sep 29, 2010, 1:27 AM by Temp User

SuperJet International CEO Alessandro Franzoni told ATW that Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Co.'s Superjet 100 is on track to receive a Type Certificate in November from Russian aviation authorities with deliveries to launch customers Aeroflot and Armavia occurring in December (ATW Daily News, Sept. 16).

“The [test] aircraft are flying very intensely now, and the chance is very high that we will obtain the Russian certification in November,” Franzoni said at European Regions Airline Assn.’s AGM in Barcelona last week. “The delivery process can start as soon as we get this. For sure, the acceptance process [by Aeroflot and Armavia] will start in December." Aeroflot holds firm orders for 30 SSJ100 plus 15 options, and Armavia has two on firm order with two options. 

Meanwhile, SuperJet is bringing everything up to speed to have the technical support and training ready for its first customers, Franzoni added. It has a task force of 30 people, integrating SuperJet, SCAC and SSJ’s important suppliers like PowerJet and Thales, on-site at Moscow Sheremetyevo “and working closely with Aeroflot” to prepare the EIS.

“We continue to work on several markets,” he said, noting SuperJet is maintaining, “the focus on Latin America and Africa as our primary targets. But the good news is that we have some signals that the US market is warming up [to the SSJ], probably a little bit earlier than we expected. Also, leasing companies are now coming to us with serious and concrete interests,” Franzoni said. SuperJet recently logged orders from lessors Pearl Aviation and Willis Lease. The MOUs should be firmed by the end of the year, he said.

Separately, SuperJet is still in discussions with Alitalia, following an October 2009 RFP for 20 SSJs plus five options, Franzoni confirmed. “For us, it would be tremendously important to have Alitalia. They told us they would make a decision in early fall.” He stressed SuperJet is not offering major discounts and over the past year submitted various proposals, “improving our proposition very much. We found a lessor agreeing to an open-ending operational lease at very, very, very attractive rates. We also offered a very attractive support package considering that maybe they will be the first major Western customer and we want to make sure that the transition from their current regional aircraft crew to SSJs will be smooth. We understand that introducing a new aircraft type is a cost to them.”

Bombardier and Embraer are reportedly bidding for the AZ regional aircraft order as well. The carrier currently operates CRJ900s, Embraer 170 and Avro RJ70 as regional aircraft.