Russia's Sukhoi Civil Aircraft company will start deliveries of its new Superjet 100 regional airliner in the middle of 2010, the Russian industry and trade minister has said.
The Superjet-100 project is a family of medium-haul passenger aircraft developed by Sukhoi in cooperation with U.S. and European aviation corporations, including Boeing, Snecma, Thales, Messier Dowty, Liebherr Aerospace and Honeywell.
"The first commercial deliveries will start in the middle of next year. Regular flights will follow. We are hoping to start training the crews for this plane next spring," Viktor Khristenko said in an interview published in Rossiiskaya Gazeta on Thursday.
The minister said Sukhoi is currently running Superjet 100 certification tests in line with European, the U.S. and Russian standards, which would allow the plane to operate without restrictions anywhere in the world.
Sukhoi, part of Russia's United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), 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.
Currently, the company has at least 122 firm orders for Superjet 100 airliners. The first aircraft are expected to be delivered to Armenia's national airline Armavia and Russia's flagship air carrier Aeroflot.
MOSCOW, December 24 (RIA Novosti)