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7 Nov, 2017 09:52

Russian-made airliners to crowd European skies

Russian-made airliners to crowd European skies

Moscow and Rome have reached an agreement on direct deliveries of Russian Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ100) passenger jets to European customers, according to Russia's Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviation).

“The document formalizes the recognition by the Italian side of the certification system for the production of aviation equipment in Russia and allows unimpeded shipments of SSJ100 aircraft to European customers,”said Rosaviation.

The Italian Civil Aviation Authority and the Interstate Aviation Committee agreed to cooperate in 2013. According to the head of Rosaviation Aleksandr Neradko, exports of SSJ100s to Italy have not been interrupted for a single day since 2015. “Starting from now, our relations will be further formalized,” he said, adding “the signed document reinforces bilateral cooperation, fully meets the interests of the Russian aviation industry and is the key to successful development of domestic aircraft exports abroad.”

According to Sukhoi, there are over 60 operational SSJ-100 aircraft in the world. Sukhoi's biggest customers are Russia's Aeroflot with 26 jets and Mexican airline Interjet which has 19 Superjets in its fleet. Russia's Gazpromavia has ten long-range versions of the plane.

READ MORE: Russian-Chinese passenger jet to take on Boeing & Airbus

Last year, the first SSJ100 plane was delivered to the Irish airline CityJet. Under the $1 billion contract, CityJet will lease 15 SSJ100s with an option for an additional 16 aircraft. The Russian airliners will also fly some Air France routes as part of a wet lease from CityJet.

Egyptian charter airline Air Leisure and the country’s flagship carrier EgyptAir also plan to order dozens of Superjets. Danish airline Greenland Express is discussing the purchase of five SSJ-100 planes.

About 100 Russian airplanes could be in service in Iran, with Moscow and Tehran negotiating local production of the SSJ 100 airliner to replace Iran's aging fleet on regional routes.