Russia plans to supply at the very least another 200 Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft, Industry Minister Denis Manturov instructed Reuters, regardless of a deadly crash that raised questions on the future of the country’s first new passenger jet since the Soviet Union.
An Aeroflot-operated Sukhoi Superjet, which had been flying from Moscow to the northern Russian city of Murmansk, caught fire on May 5 because it made a bumpy emergency landing at a Moscow airport, killing 41 people.
Whereas Russian authorities have mentioned there is no reason to ground the aircraft, there are signs of nervousness among passengers and operators.
Manturov, who travels on the Superjet for work trips, mentioned the demand for the aircraft remained robust and production plans had been unchanged.
“The catastrophe didn’t affect our customers, both potential or those that have a contract already,” Manturov stated within the interview cleared for publication on Monday.
He didn’t give a time-frame for production of the 200 aircraft and didn’t say if buyers had been lined up for all of the planes, though he cited an order from Aeroflot for an extra 100 jets, and from Thailand’s Thai Kom Airlines, which beforehand signed a contract for six Superjets.
Russia spent $2 billion on growing and setting up production of the Superjet, which has been in operation since 2011.
A state-owned company has accomplished manufacturing of about 200 of the planes since then.
Current annual demand is for 25-30 plane in contrast with initial expectations of 50, on account of fierce competitors with other producers, Manturov mentioned.