Superjet set to muscle into Russian aviation

Russia's new Superjet passenger plane is likely to be one of the stars of the Moscow air show which starts next week. The government hopes its appearance will earn more orders from foreign as well as Russian airlines.

Russian air carriers use 300 foreign made aircraft – accounting for 2/3 of the country’s passenger transportation – and only 60 new Russian made. But the new Superjet is about to change that.

In 2009-10 the State is providing financing worth over $300 million to producer Avia, with the new Superjet now also included in the government purchase subsidies programme, according to Industry Minister, Viktor Khristenko.

“The subsidies for the consumers of Superjet concern purchase and use of the airplane, and also partial payment of leasing.”

Superjet is due to get its Russian flying certificate by the end of this year. Just as important, the government is to launch full service capacities for Superjet which will cost much more than simple plane production.

In 2010 Superjet is to produce 20 planes, building up to more than 70 by 2013 planes to meet contract obligations, according to Chief Editor of Aviaport, Oleg Panteleev.

“The starting customer was Aeroflot with an order of 30 planes. It’s also planning on getting an additional 15 machines. Other aircompanies, which have showed interest are Hungarian Malev – which became the largest foreign customer. There are solid contracts with Italian and Armenian airlines. So far the stock of orders for this plane is over 120 machines.”

That will determine how quickly Russia’s aircraft builders achieve the strategic aim of a 5% share of the world's long-range and heavy jet aircrafts.