Russia’s UTAir plans to acquire as many as 24 Sukhoi Superjet 100-95s as replacements for its aged Tupolev Tu-134s, Sukhoi general director Mikhail Pogosyan confirmed during a late November press conference held at the airline’s headquarters in the western Siberian city of Khanty-Mansiysk. UTAir, Russia’s fourth largest airline, expects to take delivery of its first SSJ100 in 2013.
A growing order book for the 52-seat Antonov An-140 turboprop has stimulated engineers at Ukraine’s Antonov design house and the Kharkov manufacturing plant (KhGAPP) to accelerate work on the An-148, a new 70- to 80-seat regional jet scheduled for first deliveries in early 2005.
AKKO has been in business more than a decade and is based at Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport. The company has performed interior work on more than 150 passenger and business jets, including Aeroflot and the airline’s VIP charter division, Aeroflot-Plus.
Sukhoi (Hall 1 Stand E9) has come to the Farnborough show elated at having begun flight trials for its Superjet 100 airliner. This summer the Russian manufacturer expects to receive its first injection of new capital from Alenia Aeronautica in payment for the 25-percent stake it is buying in Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Co. (SCAC).
Russia’s Sukhoi Civil Aircraft flew the new Superjet 100 for the first time on May 19 from the company’s main assembly site in the Far East city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur. The milestone came some six months after the company had originally hoped to stage the maiden voyage of the 95-seat regional jet, scheduled now for delivery to launch customer Aeroflot next spring.
Despite signs of revival last year, when traffic rose by 6- to 8 percent, the Russian regional air transport system remains in dire straits. Lack of appreciable demand in the market, aging fleets and the absence of reasonably priced capital in the country’s banking sector have conspired to frustrate recent efforts to move the industry out of its doldrums.
While the Russian regional airline system struggles to realize some semblance of Western-style development, the former Soviet satellite state of Ukraine has assumed a leading position in the fleet renovation efforts under way throughout the former Soviet Union.
At a time when relations between Russia and Ukraine are at an all time low, an aircraft program may be the key to finding new opportunities for the two nations to work together. At Farnborough International this year there are two Antonov An-140 turboprop transports parked side-by-side on the tarmac.
After several delays, Siberian regional airline UTAir finally expects to begin flying passengers aboard a pair of Avions de Transport Regional ATR 42-300s this month, marking the first use of Western-built turboprops in scheduled airline service in Russia.