Sonntag, 12. August 2012

Superjet Launch Customer Armavia Returns ‘Unreliable’ Plane to Sukhoi

Armenian airline Armavia has decided to return its Sukhoi Superjet 100 because the new aircraft is below the required standards, local media reported on Monday, in what is a major blow for the Russian aircraft manufacturer which is still working to overcome a deadly plane crash earlier this year.

Armavia was the launch customer for the Sukhoi Superjet 100, the first civil aircraft to be built by a Russian aircraft manufacturer since the fall of the Soviet Union. The airline received the aircraft in April 2011 and used it for flights from Armenia to Ukraine and to the Russian cities of Moscow, St. Petersburg and Sochi.

An Armavia spokeswoman told the Arka and RIA Novosti news agencies on Monday that the airline has decided to return the aircraft because it was below the previously declared standards and also required repairs. “We consider it inappropriate to purchase a plane which requires repairs during its first year in service,” she said. A source with knowledge about the situation told a Russian newspaper earlier on Monday that Armavia is a relatively small airline and cannot afford to make experiments.

Armavia President Mikhail Baghdasarov earlier also expressed discontent over the relationship with Sukhoi and complained spare parts for the Superjet 100 are more expensive than similar spare parts for Western aircraft.

(source BNO News)