13 AUGUST 2012
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Armenian airline Armavia appears to have withdrawn its Sukhoi Superjet 100 airliner despite being the plane’s launch customer. It has been operating a single aircraft but due to alleged reliability problems is thought to be only securing 150 hours per month utilisation, less than half that achieved by Airbus and Boeing with their 320 and 737 series aircraft.
Developed since 2000, and making its maiden flight in 2008, the Sukhoi is pitched at the Embraer E series market for a regional aircraft of up to 100 seats. Boeing has been a partner with the project but Sukhoi is best known for its military aircraft.
In May of this year a demonstration aircraft crashed in Indonesia killing all on board. Indications are that the fatal incident was caused by pilot error.
The Sukhoi order book currently stands at around 250. Transaero is the latest customer with nine aircraft in service with Aeroflot and 21 more to follow. The Italian company Finmeccanica has a 25% in the Sukhoi subsidiary making the Superjet and is responsible for selling the aircraft on western markets. www.sukhoi.org/eng
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