Aeroflot signs up for 30 RRJs

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Aeroflot Russian Airlines has signed a deal with Sukhoi to receive 30 Russian Regional Jets between November 2008 and 2011. The carrier plans to acquire about half the aircraft on finance lease and half on operating lease, but funding has yet to be finalised.

Head of Aeroflot fleet planning Sergei Koltovich says the airline will take the “lightest version” of the RRJ95 as a “direct replacement” for 12 Tupolev Tu-134s. Aeroflot’s specification will be optimised for 1,000-2,000km (540-1,080nm) sectors, he adds. The baseline Saturn/Snecma SaM146-powered RRJ95B has a range of 3,120km, which Koltovich says is “excessive”.

Aeroflot will operate its RRJ95s with a two-class cabin for eight business and 78 economy passengers, and will choose between CAE and Thales to supply a full-motion flight simulator.

Meanwhile, Snecma has carried out a series of test runs of the first SaM146 gas generator. It differs from the earlier DEM.21 demonstrator in being redesigned to meet Sukhoi’s RRJ specification. The gas generator is being prepared for shipment to the SaM146 assembly site in Rybinsk, Russia, where it will be mated to the Saturn-made fan, low-pressure compressor and turbine.