Sukhoi sees Iran order for 100 Superjets

KONFRONTASI-Russia’s Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company (SCAC) says it sees Iran as a potential customer with a big order for its Superjet 100 (SSJ 100) planes.

The company’s head Ilya Tarasenko said the jet manufacturer could deliver about 100 Superjets to Iran after sanctions were fully lifted on the Islamic Republic.

"There is a huge interest; we expect to deliver some 100 aircraft. We have discussed the deliveries with the potential airline companies from Iran and expect some 100 planes to be delivered," the Sputnik news agency quoted him as saying.

Tarasenko said his company was also open to production of SSJ 100s in Iran after examining the country’s industrial capacities, adding Tehran could produce details for SSJ 100 airframes and aftersales services.

SCAC senior vice president, Evgeny Andrachnikov, said Sukhoi is in talks with Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Oman for SSJ 100 sales. The company is working on a 120-seater model and business jets to cater for Middle East markets, he added.

Sukhoi is also targeting the Pacific Rim, Africa, Latin America and Australia for sales of its jets, planning to triple production by 2020 amid growing demand, he told Reuters at Dubai Airshow.

The company’s business jets currently operate in Russia. Last month, France-KLM's CityJet signed a deal with Sukhoi to purchase 15 SSJ 100 planes worth over $1 billion. Sukhoi has also sold three SSJ 100s to Thailand and one to Kazakhstan.

Managing Director of Iran Aviation Industries Organization Manouchehr Manteghi has said Iran had signed contracts worth $21 billion to buy satellite equipment and Superjet aircraft from Russia.

Iran's Civil Aviation Organization (CAO) officials however have said they were not informed of any talks by local airlines with the Russians, leading to confusion over the issue.

According to Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhundi, Iran will need to buy 400 long- and medium-haul jets and at least 100 planes for use in local airports at a cost of $50 billion when sanctions are lifted.[mr/ptv]