All eyes are on Russia’s brand-new Superjet 100 as the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget celebrates its 100th anniversary. This year, Sukhoi’s regional jet is the only major novelty, drawing crowds of admirers at its flight demonstrations.
The Russian plane manufacturer Sukhoi has stolen the limelight at the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget. The company's Superjet 100 was officially inaugurated at the show, marking Russia's comeback on the civil aircraft market. The regional twin-engined jet, capable of carrying 78 to 98 passengers, hopes to rival the sector’s two giants, Canada’s Bombardier and Brazil’s Embraer.
While Airbus and Boeing have nothing to show this year, the Superjet was soaring above enthusiastic crowds during flight demonstrations. The morose atmosphere at this year’s air show apparently did not affected the Russian aviation company as crowds gathered around the stand. In the corridors of the show, Sukhoi’s CEO, Mikhail Pogosyan, told FRANCE 24 that business was going good and that he had received many inquiries.
So far, so good…The manufacturer boasts 122 firm orders for the Superjet, including 30 from the Russian airline Aeroflot and more than 45 from the Uzbek leasing company Avialeasing. And more orders may be in the pipelines. The Hungarian national carrier Malev is said to have signed a letter of intent for 30 jets.
Sukhoi drew on international assistance for its new jet. Boeing advised the company, the Italian company Alinia bought a quarter of the company in charge of sales and the French engine maker Snecma, a Safran subsidiary, worked on the engine construction.
Only a few dark clouds loom in Sukhoi’s sky this year, the global economic downturn, which forced the firm to revise it production plans, and the competition from China's upcoming regional plane, the AJR-21.
Date created : 2009-06-19