Aeroflot takes delivery of first upgraded Superjet

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Russian carrier Aeroflot has taken delivery of the first of 10 Sukhoi Superjet 100s to meet an upgraded configuration sought by the airline.

Aeroflot had taken its initial 10 Superjets in a lightweight layout, and intends to swap them out as the upgraded aircraft arrive. The first new addition is aircraft 95025, registered RA-89014.

Sukhoi's civil aircraft division says that Aeroflot, which ordered 30 of the type, originally selected a standard layout for the 98-seat aircraft but later opted for an improved cabin and avionics.

The changes include a more advanced flight-management system and weather radar, as well as video cameras, cabin lighting controls and an extra cabin crew working position.

Sukhoi adds that the cabin is fitted with additional passenger ventilation outlets, extra oxygen masks, and the aircraft has three lavatories and four galleys installed. Work on the upgraded version started at the Ulyanovsk-based Aviastar plant in March.

"Some changes requested by Aeroflot required further aircraft modifications," says the airframer. To avoid delays in delivery the carrier agreed to accept its first 10 aircraft in the lighter configuration.

Sukhoi is confident of transferring Aeroflot's 10 returned Superjets to other customers. "There are several foreign and Russian airlines interested in buying [Superjets] in the light specification," it says.