Two Sukhoi Superjet 100s operated by the Mexican airline Interjet performed their inaugural revenue flights on Wednesday, marking the first appearance of the Russian regional jets in commercial service in the Americas. Using SSJ100 MSN 95023, Interjet Flight 3153 took off at 7:37 a.m. local time from Mexico City (MEX) and landed at 8:54 a.m. in Torreon (TRC).
The second aircraft—MSN 95024 (Flight 3963)—took off at about 7:50 a.m. from Mexico City and landed at 8:52 a.m. in Aguascalientes (AGU). Interjet planned to perform eight commercial flights with the airplanes on their first day of operations from Mexico City. Other destinations include Campeche, Minatitlan, Zacatecas and Mazatlan.
“The entry in service with Interjet has opened the door to the Western market and the international aviation community has been carefully watching this major step,” said Nazario Cauceglia, CEO of the program’s Western sales and support arm, Venice, Italy-based SuperJet International (SJI). “After a start-up phase, the SSJ100 program is determined to become a competitive player in the regional aircraft segment. We are positive we will meet customers’ expectations, through operational leasing alternatives and very attractive ECA financing, supporting both start-up and legacy airlines.”
Superjet International supported the SSJ100’s service entry with a risk-assessment evaluation and a flight training campaign tailored to the “high altitude environment” typical of Mexico. Training flights, accomplished in Toluca after the completion of the type rating courses at the Venice SJI training center, included 171 “touch and goes” for roughly 35 flight hours. SuperJet International also serves as the program’s worldwide training provider, has trained 44 Interjet pilots, including five Interjet instructors, along with eight cabin attendants and almost 100 mechanics.
Interjet enjoys access to a new parts warehouse located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, recently established by Superjet International, while 10 SJI engineers remain on site in Mexico City to provide technical support and advisory assistance.
Delivery schedules call for SJI to deliver six SSJ100s to Interjet by year-end. The airline holds firm orders for 20 of the airplanes. Twenty SSJ100s now fly with six airlines, including Aeroflot, Sky Aviation, Lao Central, Yakutia and Moskovia.