Sukhois Superjet 100s by mid-2010

MOSCOW: Russia’s Sukhoi will deliver the first Superjet 100s, originally expected this year, by mid-2010, Industry Minister Viktor Khristenko told a Russian paper.

“The first commercial deliveries will begin in the middle of next year,” Khristenko said in an

interview with the daily Rossiyiskaya Gazeta. “And then the flights. We are hoping that the crews for this aircraft will be put together by spring,” he added.

They would be seeking certification for the aircraft under both European and Russian

norms at the same time, he said. The Superjet, which is seen as a potential saviour of Russia’s struggling civil aviation sector, has been hit by repeated delays.

Sukhoi was originally set to deliver the first Superjet to Russian flagship carrier Aeroflot in November 2008, But in November, Sukhoi boss Mikhail Pogosian said that they would have to postpone delivery.

The Superjet, which is being developed jointly with French engine builder Snecma and

Italian aerospace firm Alenia Aeronautica, had launched its maiden flight last year.