Wednesday, March 27, 2013

► SOUTH AFRICA: Russia looking to sell SSJ100s, MS21s passenger jets to South African buyers.

Sukhoi logoRussia's Interfax news agency reports that undisclosed South African buyers are in talks with aircraft manufacturer, Sukhoi, over a possible deal for the purchase of Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ100) passenger jets as well as Irkut MS-21s.

Sukhoi SSJ100 in
According to the article, a number of meetings with the South African party have been held regarding the suitability of the SSJ100 and MS21 to the South African market, with a final decision due once Mexican LCC, Inter Jet (4O), starts operating their SSJ100s.

The parties are also discussing the purchase by South African airlines of the MS-21 prospective passenger aircraft, whose serial production should start in 2017.

The Irkut MS-21 is a twin-engine short to mid-range passenger jet with a capacity of 150-212 passengers being developed and to be produced by Irkut and Yakovlev Design Bureau of the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) group.

The SSJ100 is a fly-by-wire regional jet seating between 75 and 95 passengers. It was designed by the civil aircraft division of Sukhoi in co-operation with Boeing and is designed to compete with the Antonov An-148, as well as comparable Embraer and Bombardier aircraft. The airliner has suffered from bad press as a result of a crash in 2012 during a demonstration flight in which 37 passengers and eight Russian crew members on board, died. The disaster occurred shortly after take off off from Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in Jakarta, Indonesia. 

An official inquiry into the crash found that the plane's automatic collision avoidance system, whilst functional, had been ignored by the pilot who was "possibly" distracted by his conversation with a potential customer for the aircraft.