Comlux The Aviation Group will be the launch customer for the first Sukhoi Business Jet (SBJ), an executive version of the Superjet 100 regional airliner.
The deal, announced last month at the NBAA Convention, includes options for two more SBJs. Delivery of the first two aircraft is expected in 2014 to the group’s Comlux America completion center in Indianapolis, where the executive interior will be designed and installed. The fully outfitted SBJ, including auxiliary fuel system and optional equipment, is valued at approximately $50 million, according to Comlux president Richard Gaona.
The Swiss aviation services group expects the first two airplanes to enter service with its Fly Comlux charter arm in 2015. Gaona added that Comlux might expand the deal to include another six to ten SBJs. Following a period in charter service, the aircraft will be sold and replaced by newer aircraft.
The SBJ offers passengers some 4,192 cu ft of cabin space, less than the larger Airbus ACJ line and Boeing’s BBJs. And the range of approximately 4,300 nm is approximately 1,500 nm less than that of the ACJ and BBJ, depending on the configuration of the latter.
SuperJet International CEO Carlo Logli said the SBJ competes more directly with Embrer’s Lineage 1000, which he said has a similar cabin size and range. SuperJet International is a joint venture by Rome-based Alenia Aeronautica and Sukhoi of Moscow.
“This order successfully launches the Sukhoi Business Jet program, which will become in the near future a new player in the wide-cabin VIP aircraft segment,” added Logli. The SBJ launch came just four months after entry into service of the first Superjet 100 regional airliner.
The Comlux charter fleet consists of 19 aircraft, ranging in size from a Boeing 767 to a Challenger 605. The Zurich-based group has another eight aircraft on order or in the cabin-outfitting phase.