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Alexander Rubtsov, the head of the Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company (SCAC), has admitted that the manufacturer of the Superjet 100, Russia’s regional aircraft, may lose Irish carrier CityJet, its only established customer in Europe, as early as the first quarter of next year.
- A change in the Irish carrier’s core business model is the probable reason for CityJet’s SSJ100 disposals, Rubtsov pointed out.
- CityJet has previously been a scheduled airline, with a substantial presence at London’s City airport, but it has since adopted a new business model focusing instead on ACMI operations, flying for other companies.
- However the airline’s concerns over the levels of after-sales support of the Russian regional jet may also be a significant factor in its decision.
- That is why Belgium-based Brussels Airlines, which in 2017 agreed to wet-lease four SSJ100s from CityJet, has announced that it will terminate the contract in March 2019, attributing the decision to “challenging maintenance issues” and the airplane’s “childhood diseases”.
- CityJet initially placed a firm order for a total of 15 of the aircraft, with an option for a further 16. But it finally took delivery of only seven units.
- To address the painful after-sales customer service issue, Sukhoi Civil has proposed to Adria the establishment of a joint SSJ100 maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) venture for the type in the central European republic.