Posted on: 03 October 2013 by Mark Howells
Nazario Cauceglia, CEO of Superjet International and Claude Poulain, president and CEO of PowerJet, have reported initial performance for the first Sukhoi Superjet 100s (SSJ100s) to enter service with a western customer, Mexican low-fare carrier Interjet.
“Interjet received the aircraft in July and had to do 100 flight hours to get Mexican authority approval,” reported Cauceglia. “Since 17 September, the two aircraft have been in service flying more than nine hours a day to seven destinations, completing 365 flight hours and 395 cycles.”
“We’ve been very conscious during entry into service of putting our best effort into customer service,” Cauceglia continued, “so we have on-site tech support, plus we recently opened a spares centre in Ft Lauderdale. Also, so far we have trained 44 Interjet pilots and 88 technicians.”
Interjet’s aircraft are the SSJ100/95 Basic model, with a range of 1,565 nm. A long-range (LR) model which can fly 2,350 nm was recently certified in Russia and SJI expects to receive certification from EASA by the year-end.
Cauceglia highlighted discussions over the LR with Interjet as an example of customer service. “Originally, Interjet wanted a long range version, but when we analysed their requirement, they realised they did not need the LR,” he recalled. “They just would not get enough benefit from the LR.”
Claude Poulain noted that launch customer Aeroflot now has 10 aircraft in service which have accumulated 34,600 cycles and 54,300 flight hours. “The lead engine has done 2,920 flight hours and 1,950 cycles. And the fleet has a 99.92% engine dispatch reliability and a 99.76% propulsion system reliability. These figures are even better than the CFM56 which is the benchmark for the reliability of an engine.”
Poulain also reported that the engines on Interjet’s aircraft are “behaving perfectly well” in Mexico.
Asked about the potential for a larger version of the SSJ100, Cauceglia acknowledged that the company is interested in investing in a stretch. “But the biggest challenge today is to push the market to know our product.
Poulain concurred while confirming that if a stretched model is introduced, there would not be any need for a change in the hardware of the SaM 146, merely software changes to the Fadec (full authority digital engine control).
Summarising, Cauceglia commented, “We are very conscious that we are trying to penetrate a tough market. We forecast the 90-120 seat market to need 3,750 aircraft over next 20 years and we aim to get 25% of the orders. It’s a big cake and we are confident that we are offering a very competitive product.”
Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/LARAnews.net