Alitalia listed as customer for 20 Superjets

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Alitalia has been listed as a customer for the Sukhoi Superjet 100 by the regional aircraft's manufacturer, with an order for 20 of the type.

The Italian flag-carrier is included in a portfolio of firm orders for the twin-jet which features in Sukhoi's newly-released annual report for 2009.

It shows Alitalia as having a firm order for 20 aircraft. The contract is listed as being associated with Sukhoi's Italian-based marketing partner Superjet International.

Alitalia could not immediately be reached for comment. But the SkyTeam carrier, which emerged as a restructured entity early last year, would become the highest-profile Western customer for the aircraft to date.

Industry sources indicate that the airline would firm the order through a Western lessor to reduce acquisition risks.

Sukhoi's portfolio lists 123 firm orders, and eight options, for the Superjet as of 1 February 2010.

Russian flag-carrier Aeroflot accounts for 30 of the type, and Armenia's Armavia for another two. These operators are set to be the first to receive the aircraft, initial deliveries of which will take place this year.

Lessor Avialeasing is listed as the customer for 24 Superjets, while Finance Leasing accounts for two plus the eight options.

Orders affiliated with Superjet International also include ItAli Airlines - which has 10 in the backlog - and companies identified as SOGECA, for 15 aircraft, and ACE for 20.