CityJet Takes Delivery Of Sukhoi Superjet
CityJet has become the first western European airline to take delivery of a Sukhoi Superjet 100, pitched to compete internationally with planes made by Embraer and Bombardier.
The first of 15 Superjet 100s leased by CityJet was delivered in Venice, the airline said, with the option for 16 more in a deal worth more than USD$1 billion including servicing.
The 89-seat Superjet 100 is the first Russian-designed passenger jet to be built since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union in a project championed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The project is led by Sukhoi -- part of state-owned United Aircraft Corporation, which Putin created in 2006 to revive the country's aircraft industry -- in partnership with Italy's Finmeccanica.
Sukhoi announced the deal with CityJet last year, describing it as a "significant milestone" for the project.
CityJet, which operates eight routes into the small London City Airport and a service linking to Air France's hub at Paris Charles de Gaulle, said it expects to take delivery of three Superjets this year, with the remainder arriving from 2017.
The Superjet had to overcome a problematic 2012 after one of its planes crashed in Indonesia during a promotional flight, which investigators said was a result of pilot error and Jakarta air traffic control's lack of a minimum safe altitude system.
Russia's Aeroflot was the first airline to operate the Superjet 100.