Sukhoi delivers long-delayed Superjet to Armavia

Russia’s state-owned plane maker Sukhoi delivered its first Superjet regional airliner to Armenian airline Armavia on Tuesday, which brought to an end to a more than two-year wait.

The plane was the first newly designed passenger aircraft built by Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union, and is aimed at challenging Canada’s Bombardier and Brazil’s Embraer in the regional airliner sector.

“Sukhoi plans to transfer 13 Superjets this year: two to Armavia, the first on Tuesday and the second in the summer, and 11 to Aeroflot,” Sukhoi spokeswoman Olga Kayukova said.

Sukhoi was scheduled to deliver the first planes to Aeroflot and Armavia by the end of 2008 or beginning of 2009, but had to delay the delivery due to complications with engine production by French-Russian joint venture Powerjet, Kayukova said.

Aeroflot has said it would seek compensation from Sukhoi for the delay in deliveries.

“They remain threats, and Sukhoi will not be paying anything,” Kayukova said.

Armavia has never complained about the delay, she added.

Sukhoi sells its Superjets at the list price of USD$31.8 million, but will offer a 10-15 percent discount to its customers at the initial stage, the company’s chief executive said in December.

Sukhoi’s Superjet 100, with a capacity of 68-103 passengers, was developed in partnership with Boeing and Italy’s Finmeccanica.

Sukhoi, which has orders for 170 planes, plans to produce up to 1,000 superjets, primarily for foreign markets.


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