Posted on: 02 March 2015 by Ross McSweeny
After initially planning delivery for April 2015, VLM Airlines has announced that its first long range Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ100 LR) regional aircraft will not now enter service until the third quarter of 2016.
VLM signed a Letter of Intent with Ilyushin Finance Co. back in October 2014 to lease up to four SSJ100 LRs as well as taking a further purchase option on ten aircraft.
The delay will enable EASA to certify features which have been modified on the long-range variant of the SSJ100 to bring significant performance enhancements, including take-off and landing flaps settings. VLM chose the long-range aircraft to expand its scheduled route network.
Arthur White, CEO of VLM Airlines, remarked, “We have entered an exciting new phase of VLM’s growth, with new scheduled services linking Antwerp with Geneva and Hamburg, Rotterdam with Hamburg, and, from May onwards, Liège with Avignon, Nice, Bologna and Venice.
“The Superjet will be an excellent complement to VLM’s Fokker 50 fleet, and the long-range variant is best suited to our business model. While we are naturally looking forward to the new aircraft entering service, this mutually agreed delay will allow us to enjoy the Superjet’s full capability from the very first day of operation.”