Russia's Sukhoi Civil Aircraft will commence deliveries of its new Superjet 100 regional airliner in the middle of 2010.
"The first commercial deliveries will start in the middle of next year. Regular flights will follow. We are hoping to start training the crews for this plane next spring," Viktor Khristenko, , the Russian industry and trade minister said in an interview published in Rossiiskaya Gazeta on Thursday.
The Superjet-100 is a medium-haul passenger aircraft developed by Sukhoi in cooperation with US and European aviation corporations, including Boeing, Snecma, Thales, Messier Dowty, Liebherr Aerospace and Honeywell.
Khristenko also said Sukhoi is currently running Superjet 100 certification tests in line with European, the US and Russian standards, which would allow the plane to operate without restrictions anywhere in the world.
Sukhoi, according to previously announced plans, intends to manufacture at least 700 Superjet 100s, and expects to sell 35% of these to North America, 25% to Europe, 10% to Latin America, and 7% to Russia and China.
It currently has at least 122 firm orders for the Superjet 100. The launch customers for the aircraft will be Armenia's national airline Armavia and Russia's flagship air carrier Aeroflot.