For nearly 10 years of service, the Sukhoi SSJ100 has been a major headache for the Russian government. Proposed as a competitor in the global commercial aircraft market, the aircraft disappointed thanks to inefficient after-sales and reliability issues.
Although it won some orders in the West, the SuperJet has its fleet concentrated in Russia and countries under its influence. To make its production viable, the government bought most of the 200 aircraft already delivered and then leased them to airlines such as Aeroflot, Airway reported.
Despite this, Vladimir Putin’s government remains committed to the project. During the International Defense Exhibition and Conference (IDEX), being held this week in Abu Dhabi, Russian Minister of Trade and Industry Denis Manturov revealed to the press that the SSJ100 will have a corporate version in the second half of this year.
“This year we have the new SSJ-VIP version, with sharklets, additional tanks and other differentials. A demonstrator aircraft will appear in the second half of the year. I think there will be a sufficient number of people interested in this version, because the cost-benefit ratio is very competitive,” Manturov told RIA Novosti.