Posted on: 24 May 2016 by Mark Howells
CityJet has taken delivery of its first Sukhoi Superjet 100 in a ceremony at Superjet International’s HQ in Venice, thus becoming the first western European airline to receive the type.
In fact, as the curtain lowered to reveal the first aircraft, guests were surprised to also see the second aircraft, which will be delivered in a few weeks.
CityJet executive chairman Pat Byrne paid tribute to all at Sukhoi, Superjet International, engine provider PowerJet and all the suppliers for getting EASA certification for the SSJ100. “It’s an amazing achievement,” he remarked.
Described as a ‘pioneer’ as he was introduced, Byrne said the term had slightly worried him. “There’s a phrase which says, ‘Pioneers never make money’,” he recalled, before adding, “Well let me tell you, this pioneer intends to make a lot of money.
“The SSJ100 is a game-changing aircraft,” he continued. “We will be operating the aircraft in our own colours, but an enormous part of our business model involves operating for partners in their colours. I can’t think of a better way to demonstrate the qualities of the aircraft than that.”
In reference to all the parties which had brought the deal to fruition, Byrne said his word for the day was ‘partnership’. “It’s all about those. While getting the contract done was like the United Nations – and I never want to see another law firm again – we’ve all become great partners. That’s resulted in CityJet having this magnificent aircraft in our fleet as we strive to become Europe’s leading regional airline.”
Earlier, Superjet International CEO Nazaria Cauceglia remarked that the company had been proud to be the choice of CityJet as the airline develops its new structure. He then paid tribute to both Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company and his own team.
“Ours is a global team, because the global nature of the business has given us the opportunity to come together and create a very competitive product,” Cauceglia commented. “And while the delivery today is important, it’s just the beginning. We now have to move the focus onto the ability to support the fleet in service. So to CityJet I say, we will stay very close to you. We aim to ensure that you never regret your choice and want to make it that you, like other customers, will come back for more.”
SuperJet International is providing CityJet with technical support through a SuperCare agreement for 12 years, while CityJet crews are being trained at SJI’s training centre in Venice.
The first aircraft is due to arrive in Dublin on 1 June, followed mid-month by the second aircraft. All CityJet’s SSJ100s will have a 98-seat configuration with an exclusive interior designed by Pininfarina in co-operation with the airline with seats made by Geven covered in leather supplied by Muirhead Leather. The five-abreast seating has a 32” pitch.
Bernie Baldwin. Editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/laranews.net