Posted on: 12 July 2016 by Mark Howells
“We’re in one of the most important phases of the [Superjet] programme,” declared Nazario Cauceglia, CEO of SuperJet International (SJI), highlighting the recent introduction into western European operations of the type by CityJet recently took delivery of two aircraft.
“We believe that with this the market will change. We are competing in a market where competition is fierce, but it’s changing with new players on board. The product alone is not enough any more,” Cauceglia continued.
“Delivering the aircraft is the first step, the difficult game comes later. We must convince the marlet that the aircraft is reliable and is well supported,” he added. “We have grown with Interjet and the experience from working with them will serve us well as we move into caring for the new customer.”
Interjet CEO Jose Luis Garza emphasised his airline’s strong satisfaction with the SSJ100. “We began in autumn 2013 and are just about to receive our 22nd aircraft from a total order of 30,” he remarked. “After three years I can say that the passengers really love the aircraft. Many cannot distinguish [between the SSJ100 and the airline’s A320s] what they are flying in.
“We have IFE and mood lighting to enhance the passenger experience and the Italian Pininfarina cabin interior has been superb,” Garza continued. “Our total dispatch reliability is 99% and we currently operate about 7 cycles per day per aircraft on routes averaging 1.5 hours. So we have passed the 100,000 cycle mark with the fleet. And we believe it is more efficient than the competitors in terms of overall economics.”
Garza announced that Interjet is investng further in its SSJ100 operations by installing an L-3 full-flight simulator at its training centre by October. This will be fully operative by December.
Although Interjet is achieving 99% dispatch reliability on the aircraft, Powerjet CEO Marc Sorel reported that his company’s SaM146 engine is actually achieving 99.9% dispatch reliability across all SSJ100 operators. “In the engine business, it’s quite a new engine and we are proud to say that the performance is in the range of the CFM56. And if we compare it to the current engines flying in 16,000-17,500 lb thrust category, we have 10% lower fuel burn.”
Pat Byrne, executive chairman of the aforementioned new customer CityJet, supported Sorel, noting that the engine “was a critical factor in the context of the overall operating economics of the aircraft. Its close resemblance to the CFM family was hugely important”.
Byrne also noted the importance of the cockpit in the SSJ100. “It’s close to that of an A350, so we’re attracting pilots who aspire to fly the modern larger aircraft,” he commented, before adding, “It’s a best of breed aircraft.”
CityJet observed Interjet’s operations during its assessments, Byrne confirmed. “We were very interested to see how they were getting on, especially as they operate in tough condition with a heavy schedule,” he remarked.
The two SSJ100s with CityJet are initially being used on charter operations – such as the recent European football championships where the carrier ferried both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland teams to and from France. The third aircraft will arrive in October.
Photo shows (l-r): Superjet International CEO Nazario Cauceglia, CityJet executive chairman Pat Byrne, Interjet CEO Jose Luis Garza and Powerjet CEO Marc Sorel.
Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/laranews.net