U.S. airline Delta and the world's largest low-cost airline Ryanair are considering buying Russia's brand new Superjet 100 medium-haul airliners and MS-21 planes, Kommersant business paper reported on Thursday.
Delta has sent a request for commercial proposals to Russia's United Aircraft-Building Corporation on buying 100 Sukhoi Superjet 100s while Ryanair is considering buying 200 MS-21 short-to medium-haul planes which are currently being developed, the paper said, referring to a source in the UAC.
UAC President Mikhail Pogosyan confirmed to Kommersant that Superjet International, the joint venture between aircraft maker Sukhoi and Italy's Alenia Aeronautica, which sells Superjet 100s in Europe, Africa and America, had received a request for information on Russia’s new medium-haul airliners but declined to comment further.
Delta needs about 100 regional aircraft for its subsidiary domestic airlines. The company has sent requests for proposals to all the major commercial passenger aircraft producers, including Boeing, Airbus, Embraer, Bombardier, Japan's Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation and China's Comac, participants at the Le Bourget air show in France told the paper.
Delta declined to comment on the purchase of new planes while Embraer Director for External Communications Carlos Camargo confirmed to Kommersant that the Brazilian aircraft maker was already preparing proposals for Delta.
Ryanair also declined to comment on the company's interest in Russian aircraft but said that "the airline "was constantly studying the possibilities for fleet expansion and renewal."
Canada's Bombardier, which has already delivered 200 aircraft to Delta, told the paper that Bombardier Series C airliners had a longer range and better efficiency indicators as compared with Superjet 100s.
However Superjet 100s are cheaper at $31.7 million per plane at catalog prices as compared with about $66 million for a Bombardier C Series airliner.
The main rivals for Russia's MS-21 airliner is Boeing and China's Comac, which is working on the creation of the S919 airliner, participants in the Le Bourget air show told the paper.
"The requests sent to Chinese and Russian aircraft makers are only needed to put pressure on Boeing," a representative of a large aerospace company told the paper.
The estimated cost of the MS-21 will be $68-75 million compared to an equivalent Boeing’s $90 million, the paper said. The aircraft is still at the design stage and is yet to fly.