St. Petersburg, Russia: The Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company will make first deliveries of the Superjet 100 to ItAli Airlines S.p.A., a Pescara, Italy, based airline that operates regional scheduled, charter and cargo services, as well as air taxi flights. The carrier has 10 Superjet regional airliners on order.
The development was confirmed by a Russian government spokesman on Thursday.
Sukhoi had earlier said that first planes will be delivered in 2011 at the rate of six aircraft annually. This was modified in a subsequent statement which said that the first 18 Superjet 100s would be delivered to customers, including Aeroflot and Armavia, in 2010.
The Superjet 100 project is a family of medium-haul passenger aircraft developed by the state-owned Sukhoi Civil Aircraft company in cooperation with US and European aviation corporations, including Boeing, Snecma, Thales, Messier Dowty, Liebherr Aerospace and Honeywell.
International certification is expected by mid-2010.
The Superjet 100 aircraft has already made several long-distance and atleast 40 short-distance test flights, clocking over 100 flight hours. A total of four planes are taking part in the Russian certification program, which is expected to be complete by the third quarter of 2009.