13:56 GMT17 February 2020
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    Russia will phase out the manufacture of Ukraine's Antonov company An-148 passenger jets after the last two aircraft are built at the Voronezh Aircraft Manufacturing Company, a Russian aviation industry source said Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — An-148 was designed in the 1990s and its first flight was carried out in 2004. The aircraft developed by Ukraine's Antonov company is produced both in Ukraine and in Russia's city of Voronezh. The jets could be used for transportation of both passengers and cargoes, according to Antonov's website.

    "In Voronezh, the last couple of aircraft are being completed and the fate of the aircraft in Russia will not be developed further," the source told reporters.

    Meanwhile, Russia continues promotion of another airliner, Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ-100), on the foreign markets. In 2016, Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company (CJSC) produced 18 twin-engine regional passenger airliners, one more than a year before, but way less than in 2014, when 37 Superjets have been manufactured. In 2017, the company intends to produce 35-39 jets, hence the year 2016 was characterized by active marketing efforts by CJSC.

    In May, CJSC made a major breakthrough on the way to expand the geography of clients. CityJet, an Irish regional airline and currently the only European customer of the Russian company, received the first SSJ-100 as part of the deal to lease 15 SSJ-100 planes with an option for another 16 aircraft. The total value of the deal is over $1 billion, including maintenance services. CityJet has retained an option to purchase 10 additional SSJ-100s.

    According to expert estimates, the delivery of the jets to a European customer despite political tensions demonstrated that the plane outperforms rivals like the Embraer 190, the Bombardier Q400 and the Antonov An-148 due to its aerodynamic characteristics based on a design by Sukhoi Civil Aircraft and the Central AeroHydrodynamic Institute (TsAGI). The plane's improved fuel efficiency should be attributed to superior aerodynamics and a new engine. The plane's low cost is another major advantage that does not diminish high passenger comfort levels of the plane assembled in Komsomolsk-on-Amur. Although the jet ranks among narrow-fuselage airliners, its fuselage is larger than those of direct rivals providing passengers with more comfortable seats, larger luggage racks and leg room.

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