Venice, Italy-based Superjet International held a “roll-in” ceremony at its hangar at Venice Marco Polo International Airport on October 19 for the first Sukhoi Superjet 100 destined for delivery to Mexico’s Interjet. The airplane arrived in Tessera, an administrative division or frazione of Venice, on October 6 following a roughly 4,500-nm journey from Sukhoi Civil Aircraft’s manufacturing site in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Russia. The program’s Western sales and support arm, Superjet International, has begun completion and customization of the 93-seat airplane, scheduled for delivery to Interjet next March.
Delivered to Venice “green,” the airplane (MSN 95023) will undergo completion, customization and painting at Superjet International’s hangar over the next three months or so, during which time the Italian company expects to receive an EASA supplemental type certificate, officially giving it responsibility for the type’s interior installation. Last month Superjet International’s first full-flight simulator arrived in Venice for installation at the SJI Training Center, where plans call for Interjet’s pilots to start training next month. The airline plans to use in-house Airbus A320 pilots to command the Superjets and hire first officers from outside the company.
“This roll-in ceremony represents the beginning of a new industrial activity in Venice, which confirms the strategic role and value of [the] Tessera aeronautics premises for the entire Italian aeronautic sector,” said Carmelo Cosentino, president and chairman of the board of SuperJet International.
The only customer for the SSJ100 in the Western hemisphere, Interjet holds an order for 20 of the regional jets, including five converted to firm status from options at July’s Farnborough International airshow.
Following delivery of the first airplane, Interjet expects to accept one new airplane a month until the end of 2014. Interjet has identified some 80 city pairs suitable for the Superjet, many formerly served by Mexicana Click Fokker 100s and Boeing 717s and all within the 925-nm range the SSJ100 can manage from the hot-and-high international airport outside Toluca, Mexico (8,466 feet msl). Because the standard-range Superjet can fly no farther than about 750 nm from Toluca, Sukhoi offered an extended-range variant using high-speed landing procedures and a modified landing-gear door designed to reduce drag.
In addition to Toluca, Interjet will fly the airplanes from Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey, as well as yet-to-be-determined cities in the northwest and southwest of the country, Interjet CEO Jose Luis Garza told AIN in August. “This is going to be a workhorse for us, because utilization is going to be intense in Mexico–more than five cycles per aircraft per day,” hesaid.