Certification means safe
Certification not necessarily commercial success
It was commissioned with great expectations of Russian penetration of the global airline market. It was certificated and has a good safety record. What went wrong
“The last European operator of Sukhoi Superjet 100 has reportedly returned its Russian-made aircraft to the owner. The aircraft manufacturer claims that it “contradicts the reality”. Well, sort of.
CityJet, the last European operator to have Sukhoi Superjet 100 in its fleet, has returned the aircraft to the owner, Vedomosti reported on February 18, 2019. According to the publication, the reason for the decision a huge lack of spare parts, which caused long groundings of the aircraft.
As for the aircraft in question, the company refused to comment on whether or not is has returned the aircraft due to confidentiality obligations, but did confirmed that it is not using SS100 for commercial flights for over a month. “CityJet’s last commercial operation of a SSJ 100 was January 7th, 2019”.
CityJet received seven Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft in 2016-2017 and was wet-leasing them to Brussels Airlines. However, of the seven aircraft, six appear to be stored, while one has changed hands at the end of 2018, based on planespotters.net data.
SSJ100 in Europe
In November 2018, the only European airline, which regularly operated SSJ 100 renounced the use of the aircraft. Brussels Airlines, opted of not prolonging wet-lease contract with CityJet after it expired at the end of 2018…”
The Sukhoi Superjet 100 or SSJ100 is a regional jet designed by Sukhoi, a division of the United Aircraft Corporation. The plane was intended to be one of Russia’s commercial product to compete in the global aviation market, competing with incumbents– Airbus, Boeing, Canadair and Embraer—as well as the new aerospace companies starting contemporaneously.
The SSJ’s history:
- UAC/Sukhoi started development in 2000, its first flight was 19 May 2008,
- its IAC TC was issued on 3 February 2011,
- EASA’s Type Certificate was authorized 3 February 2012
- its first commercial flight on 21 April 2011 with Armavia
Roll out of a plane does equate to a plane that will be bought
Incumbents have a number of existing assets/services = ADVANTAGE
As that post presaged, the receipt of an airworthiness seal of approval does not assure sales. The SSJ100 is a prime example:
We can easily call Sukhoi SuperJet 100 a revitalizer of the Russian aviation and a game-changing, modern, and worldwide certified airliner that delivers a high level of comfort and cabin capacity that is far superior to all of its competitors.
Is it still true that Russian company has a lack of past performance in the market and no track records? The answer is definitely – yes. The map of customers is not so impressive – Mexico, Ireland, Russia. More than 80% of all SSJ 100 which is in service are in Russia. It is because Russian government trying to force the local airlines to buy SSJ 100 by offering various subsidies…”
All but two on this list are foreign, private operators.
Though the orders number 295, only 135 SSJ100s are in service today. It is important to note that CityJet retuned its Russian aircraft due to a lack of spare parts; perhaps the homeland customers get preference, but such a practice, if in practice, will further limit its future sales to overseas customers.
These sixteen cancelled orders are primarily due to “buyers” problems—inability to meet payment schedules and bankruptcies.
The sole remaining foreign commercial customer is InterJet Airlines of Mexico, which has 22 of the SuperJets in service.
The SSJ100 is airworthy, but the above record suggests that the economics, even with what was presumably was a discounted price, and operational performance are not great.
Russia’s commercial aircraft aspirations have not been deterred by the SJ100 experience. Maybe the next iteration, the MC-21, will include lessons which the next plane’s developer the same United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), which is now part of Rostec. Perhaps to assure the MC-21’s success, this aircraft is directly subsidized with funds from the Russian federal budget (10.5 billion roubles [US$160 million]) over the next three years for the new aircraft’s development.
Here it comes:
 CityJet is Europe’s leading regional airline based in Dublin, Ireland, operating a fleet of Avro and Bombardier aircraft on wet lease services across the Continent. 25 CRJ900 aircraft and 13 RJ85.
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