The Russian flag carrier orders 100 Sukhoi Superjets – a deal that could boost regional routes in Russia.
Aeroflot has placed an order for 100 Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft, representing the biggest deal in the company’s contemporary history.
The new SSJ 100 deal is estimated to be worth more than $3 billion and falls under the airline’s new strategy to set up a large number of regional hubs, the business daily Vedomosti writes.
Aeroflot already operates 49 SSJ 100s out of a total of 350 mostly Airbus planes. Earlier this year, it announced a deal to lease 50 Russian-made MS-21s.
State-run Aeroflot said in August that it would focus its 2023 strategy on launching new regional bases and hubs – and on increasing the number of Russian-made planes in its fleet, the news agency Reuters reports.
Almost two-thirds of all domestic flights in Russia go via Moscow, something Russian President Vladimir Putin has said should change to raise the proportion of flights bypassing the capital to 50% by 2024.
“It is Aeroflot’s top priority to act in the interests of Russian aviation and the whole country,” the carrier’s chief executive Vitaly Saveliev declared.
However, the Russian analysis company Aton describes the Superjet as having “very low” operating efficiency compared to other aircraft types, as they need “regular breaks and lengthy maintenance”. This makes them, it adds, a better fit for regional routes.