Sukhoi has secured its first Western customer for the Superjet 100 regional jet with a $283 million order for 10 firm aircraft from Italian low-cost carrier ItAli Airlines. The deal covers options for a further 10 aircraft.
At the show, the Russian company also signed a long-heralded strategic deal with Italy’s Alenia Aeronautica in which Alenia will take a 25-percent stake in Sukhoi, under which a joint venture company will be formed in Italy charged with promoting European and American sales of the Superjet 100. The company will be set up in July and will, said Sukhoi, “provide 24/7 after sales support at all levels.”
ItAli is owned by Giuseppe Spadaccini, who also owns the Aeroservices Group, which operates Canadair CL-415 and CL 215 firefighting aircraft for the Italian government.
The Pescara-based airline said the Superjet 100s will replace its existing MD-80s and Dornier 328Jets, allowing increased frequencies between its two hubs at Milan and Rome and to start new international routes.
The first aircraft will be delivered in 2009 and all 10 will be in service by 2011.