Europe gets its first modern Russian-made airliners

A cabin crew member of Russian carrier Aeroflot poses in front of a Sukhoi Superjet 100 airplane © Pascal Rossignol
United Aircraft Corporation says the first Russian Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ100) plane has been delivered to its inaugural European customer Irish airline CityJet.

Under the $1 billion contract, CityJet will lease 15 SSJ100 airplanes with an option for an additional 16 aircraft. The Irish airline will receive three aircraft in 2016, and the rest from 2017 onwards.

Sukhoi will provide CityJet with technical support through a 12-year service agreement.

“The delivery of our first SSJ100 is an important milestone for CityJet as we begin our fleet renewal program. This is a fantastic aircraft and we look forward to introducing our customers to its high level of comfort and efficiency in the coming years,” said Pat Byrne, Executive Chairman of CityJet.

Last year the Dublin-based company chose the SSJ100 to enhance its fleet and network development program. CityJet’s fleet renewal and expansion comes as a result of the company’s strong performance in 2015.

CityJet will continue its long-standing wet lease contract with Air France-KLM using the Superjets.

READ MORE: Egypt, Denmark to buy Russian Sukhoi airliners

The 98-seat SSJ100 has been developed by the Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company. It is an advanced and cost-effective commercial aircraft which can operate on short-to-medium range routes. It has a range of 4,500 kilometers.

Sukhoi is currently negotiating with the Egyptian airline EgyptAir to supply up to 40 SSJ100 aircraft. According to media reports, Danish airline Greenland Express is also in talks with Sukhoi to buy five Superjet planes.