Sukhoi SuperJet 100 to make first flight with passengers on April 12


Russia’s Sukhoi 100 passenger jet will start flying passengers for the first time on April 12 when it travels from Armenia’s capital of Yerevan to Moscow.

The flight will coincide with the 50th anniversary of Yury Gagarin’s flight that made him the first man in space, RIA Novosti reports.

Armenia’s Armavia airline bought four Superjets in 2007. Sukhoi currently has 122 firm orders for the type and hopes to sell more than 700, with 35% going to North America, 25% to Europe, 10% to Latin America and 7% to Russia and China. Russia’s flag carrier Aeroflot has orders for 40 Superjets and will be the second airline to receive the aircraft.

In January Mexico’s second largest airline, Interjet, ordered 15 Superjets for US$650 million, according to RIA Novosti. This marked the first contract for the Superjet from a Latin American country.

Sukhoi developed the Superjet 100 family of medium-haul passenger jets to compete against offerings from Embraer and Bombardier. Sukhoi claims its aircraft is cheaper to operate and less expensive to procure.

Sukhoi developed the Superjet with assistance from American and European aviation companies, including Boeing, Snecma, Thales, Honeywell, Messier Dowty and Liebherr Aerospace.

Italy’s Finmeccanica has a 25% stake in the Superjet programme. In 2007 Finmecannica’s Alenia subsidiary formed the Superjet International joint venture with Sukhoi, which is responsible for marketing, sales and aircraft delivery in Europe, the America’s, Africa, Japan and Oceania, as well as worldwide logistic support.

The Superjet is capable of carrying between 75 to 98 passengers up to a range of 4 400 kilometres.