Farnborough, London: Russia's Sukhoi Civil Aircraft has said it will announce 30 new orders for its Superjet100 regional aircraft at the Farnborough air show. According to a company spokesperson the orders will be unveiled at a news conference on Tuesday.
Sukhoi's Superjet100, earlier launched as the Russian Regional Jet, is designed to seat 78-98 passengers and is headed for commercial production after almost a decade of development. Deliveries to launch customer, Aeroflot, have however been delayed by at least a year. This is in keeping with the trend of manufacturers announcing ambitious delivery schedules for state-of-the-art aircraft, which they are then unable to maintain.
The Airbus 380 super jumbo and Boeing's 787 Dreamliner are recent examples of ambitious programmes which have failed to maintain delivery schedules.
The Superjet100 is an effort by the Sukhoi Design Bureau to diversify its expertise, both in design and manufacture, from the purely military to the civil side. It's restructuring plans call for fully 50 per cent of all its manufacturing to be of civil aircraft by 2015.
Sukhoi has solid orders for 73 of the Superjet 100's, mainly from Russian airlines. Along with Italian partner, Alenia Aeronautica, it is now competing for orders with Brazil's Embraer and Canadian Bombardier, which traditionally dominate this segment of the market.
China and Japan too have joined the race to offer a model for this segment.
The Superjet100 will soon replace Russia's fast ageing Soviet-era fleet of Tupolev Tu-134 and Yakovlev Yak-42 planes on domestic routes. Russia is aiming to capture at least 10 per cent of the world airliner market with the Superjet100 and assume the third spot, behind giants Airbus and Boeing, among aircraft-producing countries by 2015-2018.
The Superjet100 programme is in partnership with France's Thales and Safran besides Alenia, a unit of Italy's Finmeccanica.