AIRSHOW-Russia's Superjet sees new, bigger plane by 2020
By Sarah Young
PARIS, June 17 (Reuters) - Superjet International, an aircraft made by Russia's Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company and Finmeccanica unit Alenia Aermacchi, could be operating a new, stretched version of its SSJ100 regional jet by 2020, an executive told Reuters.
Conceived as a plan to help Russia develop a foothold in the global planemaking business, Superjet's Russian-built SSJ100 operated its first commercial flight in 2011 and since then just over 50 of the 100 seat-aircraft have been delivered.
"We need to offer a stretched version," Superjet Executive Vice President Eugene Andrachnikov said in an interview at the Paris air show onboard a Superjet soon to be delivered to Mexican carrier Interjet.
"We are contemplating that this will be in operation by 2020," he added.
Internal talks were ongoing about the bigger jet, the executive said, and he expected a decision to be made by the end of the year.
The larger jet being considered by Superjet, which competes with regional planes made by Brazil's Embraer and Canada's Bombardier, would have 120 seats and be powered by the same engine as the SSJ100 but with a different wing.
"We're discussing financing with shareholders, we need to persuade them of the market need," Andrachnikov said.
Aviation consultancy Flightglobal Ascend has forecast a market for 4,071 regional jets worth $128.3 billion by 2033. Continued...