June 25, 2012
MAXIM PYADUSHKIN/MOSCOW, JENS FLOTTAU/FRANKFURT and LEITHEN FRANCIS/SINGAPORE
The May 9 crash of a Sukhoi Superjet 100 prototype during a demonstration flight in Indonesia has caused Indonesian airline Sky Aviation to delay delivery of its Superjets, but it has not dissuaded all customers.
Transaero, Russia's second-largest airline, signed a contract last week with Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Co. (SCAC) for six SSJ 100 aircraft, with an option for 10 more. According to SCAC, the list price of the deal is $212.4 million, but it could grow to $566.4 million, if the options transfer into firm orders.
The SSJ 100s are to be delivered to Transaero in 2015-17. The privately held airline ordered the aircraft in a basic two-class layout designed to carry 90 passengers, eight in business class and 82 in economy class. It plans to operate them from its base in St. Petersburg for regional flights across northwest Russia.
With the Transaero order, the SSJ 100 firm-order backlog rises to 174 and now includes orders from Russia's three largest carriers. Aeroflot already operates eight of the 30 SSJ 100s it has signed for, and UTair, the third-largest airline in the country, has ordered 24 through VEB-Leasing company. Two smaller Russian customers, Gazpromavia and Yakutia Airlines, have also placed orders, for 10 and two SSJ 100s, respectively.
Sky Aviation will not take delivery of the 12 SSJ 100s it ordered, pending results of the crash investigation. Fourteen of the 45 people who died in the accident were Sky Aviation personnel.
According to Russia's RBC news agency, Mikhail Pogosyan, head of Sukhoi's parent company, United Aircraft Corp., says preliminary investigation results indicate that the aircraft had no technical failures before the crash.
Along with the Superjets, Transaero also just ordered four Airbus A380s, firming up a memorandum of understanding signed last October. Transaero intends to fly them with 700 seats in a three-class layout, making it the highest-density aircraft of any operator so far. The carrier uses widebodies on long-range Russian domestic routes and expects to deploy the A380 on similar missions.