Friday, September 28, 2007

Aeroflot Unveiled SSJ for Cuba

Sep. 27, 2007

Aeroflot Unveiled SSJ for Cuba

Russia's Sukhoi Civil Aircraft, a subsidiary of Sukhoi Aircraft Holding
Company, unveiled yesterday the first Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ) all-new
airliner in Komsomolsk-on-Amur. SSJ is due to take off late this year,
but the dates could be put off. Russia's clients attempt to secure
themselves against the deliveries breakdown by sharing risks with
manufacturers via penalties and with foreign partners, to which they
endeavor to re-address the jets.
The first SSJ was wheeled out at the aircraft manufacturing plant in the
Far Eastern city Komsomolsk-on-Amur yesterday, September 26, 2007.
According to First Vice Premier Sergey Ivanov, SSJ leads amid civil
projects of United Aircraft Corporation (UAC). "Russia hasn't
manufactured passenger jets up to the world standards for 16 years,"
Ivanov emphasized.

Sukhoi Chief Executive Mikhail Pogosyan vowed to deliver to clients six
SSJs already next year. The airliner, however, will be certified only by
the end of 2008, right before supplies to the starting client, Aeroflot,
and this delay has triggered speculations about potential risks. Sukhoi
Civil Aircraft President Viktor Subbotin also acknowledged that certain
risks would be taken but pointed out that "the stage of the final
assembly will be maximally moved to the moment of completing the static
tests and the system's stand processing." "Then, the risk will be
lowered at most," the official promised.

SSJ project was launched in 2001; the catalogue worth of the jet ranges
from $23.4 million to $28.9 million depending on the layout. Sukhoi
Civil Aircraft has firm contracts for 73 SSJs in the 95-seat basic
layout. Of them, Aeroflot ordered 30 jets, Financial Leasing Co. – 10,
AirUnion – 15, Dalavia – 6, ItAli – 10 and Armavia – 2. The project will
pay off once 300 jets are sold, Pogosyan specified. Under SSJ business
plan, it should happen by 2013. The target is to release 30 jets in 2009
and 60 in 2010.

SSJ is due to make the first flight in a month and a half or in two
months, but the dates could be put off on delay in the engine tests.
Regardless, optimistic Aeroflot expects the first SSJ in November of
2008, intending to fine for any delays and to operate the jets jointly
with foreign partners. Aeroflot GD Valery Okulov said they are planning
to set up a venture with some Cuban airline. It will be Cubana de
Aviacion, specified Lev Koshlyakov, who is Okulov's deputy at Aeroflot.

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