MOSCOW, March 24 (RIA Novosti) - Deliveries of the first Sukhoi Superjet 100 medium-range passenger aircraft have been postponed indefinitely over test delays, the head of the United Aircraft Building Corporation said on Monday.
"We are not ruling out that deliveries of the Superjet 100 aircraft to the first clients will be postponed over a delay in certification tests," UABC CEO Alexei Fyodorov said.
He added that the first test flight was planned for next month.
A spokesman for Sukhoi Civil Aircraft, a civilian subsidiary of the Sukhoi aircraft manufacturer, confirmed that the first Superjet 100 would make its maiden flight in April.
"The airplane is currently in the final testing stages, and it will make its first flight within a month," he said.
"Our specialists are working round the clock to meet our obligations to contractors," he added.
Olga Kayukova, Sukhoi Civil Aircraft's director for public relations, said another two Superjet 100 airplanes were in the final stages of assembly, and a fourth jet was on its way.
"That will enable us to certify all four prototype aircraft within the specified timeframe," she said.
Originally, the first Superjet 100 deliveries were to be made in late 2008.
The Superjet 100 project is a family of medium-range passenger aircraft developed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau in cooperation with major American and European aviation corporations, including Boeing, Snecma, Thales, Messier Dowty, Liebherr Aerospace, and Honeywell.
Sukhoi aircraft manufacturer successfully tested Superjet 100 engines in mid-February.
The company plans to manufacture at least 700 Superjet 100s, and intends to sell 35% of them to North America, 25% to Europe, 10% to Latin America, and 7% to Russia and China.
Mikhail Pogosyan, Sukhoi's general director, said in January that the company had secured 73 solid orders for the aircraft.
The list price of a 95-seat base model is $28 million, but the company is currently working on both smaller and larger capacity modifications.
The market for the Superjet 100 is estimated at around $100 billion for around 5,500 planes, through to 2023.