Friday, June 22, 2007
Sukhoi Books First Western Operator
Boeing (BA) and Sukhoi also used Paris to sign an agreement to expand collaboration between the two companies. In 2002, before the Russian government designated Sukhoi as the leader of Russia’s regional jet program, Sukhoi selected Boeing to serve as an advisor to Sukhoi and its program partners on program management, engineering, marketing, product development, certification, supplier management, and customer support. The agreement includes assistance in flight and maintenance crew training, spare parts management and supply but is not limited to these areas
"Boeing's expanded support to the Sukhoi Superjet program and especially the increased Boeing role in helping Sukhoi to create a world-class SSJ after-delivery support system will significantly increase business attractiveness of the SSJ airplanes to our domestic and foreign airline customers," said Mikhail Pogosyan, general director of the Sukhoi Company
The Superjet rollout is expected in September with first flight delayed until the end of the year. The manufacturer expects to sell 700 of the new jet family.
Pogosyan said Sukhoi targeted North America for 35 percent, 25 percent to Europe and seven percent to Russia and China. It had earlier proposed a 60-seat version but scrapped those plans in favor of a larger, 110-seat version that is set to enter service in 2010. Engines are being supplied by risk-sharing partner PowerJet which is producing the 14,000 to 17,500 thrust SaM 146. Powerplant certification is expected in 2008 from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and Avia Register. Created in 2004, PowerJet is a partnership between Snecma and NPO Saturn of Russia.
Launch customer Aeroflot, expects to put the SuperJet into service late next year. AP also reported EADS may have Sukhoi build part of the 80- to 120-seat narrow-body intended to revitalize the A320 program. Given Boeing’s participation, Russia has been pressuring EADS to join in aircraft development projects. However, EADs is also looking at partnering with Chinese manufacturers.