Russian-built regional jet causes a buzz at Farnborough
Wednesday 21 July 2010
Russia's attempts to join industry big boys Airbus and Boeing in the aircraft market were given a boost this week at the Farnborough Air Show.
Russian aircraft builder Sukhoi received a breakthrough order from Indonesia's Kartika Airlines, which ordered 30 of its Russian-built Superjet 100s on July 19.
On July 20, Orient-Thai Airlines announced that it would buy at least 12 of the aircraft, which can seat between 75 and 95 passengers.
The orders bring the SuperJet 100, which has been attracting significant interest at Farnborough, one step closer to passenger service, with first deliveries expected later this year.
The SuperJet has important implications for the way the world travels, especially as it is selling so well in developing regions such as eastern Europe and Asia.
Along with other nimble short-range jets such as those made by Embraer or Bombardier (which have also announced several significant sales at Farnborough), it is ideal for rapidly-industrializing areas where traveling between cities by road or train is either difficult or impractical, such as China and Latin America.
As the aircraft are cheaper to buy and to run, regional flights in countries such as Thailand are sometimes cheaper and always more convenient than their considerably longer rail equivalents.
Sukhoi also says that the jet is cheaper to fly and faster than its rivals, as well as using 10 percent less fuel per seat.
The Farnborough Air Show runs through July 25 in Farnborough, United Kingdom.
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