FARNBOROUGH Superjet International targets Latin America with Russian regional jet

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Superjet International has a message for rival Embraer – watch out, we are coming after you in your own back yard.

The Italian company responsible for marketing the Russian-built Superjet 100 in Western countries sees Brazil and the rest of Latin America as one of its key markets. And it believes the positive experience of the aircraft by its sole customer – Mexico’s Interjet – will help it win further business in the region.

At a joint press conference today, Interjet’s chief executive Jose Luis Garza Alvarez will report that the carrier has been getting better than expected fuel economy and dispatch reliability from the 93-seat type.

“Other Latin American airlines are watching Interjet with a lot of interest,” says Nazario Cauceglia, chief executive of Superjet International. “We are certainly not discouraged about competing in the home of our competitor.”

It comes as the two organisations responsible for marketing the Superjet exibit together for the first time at Farnborough, using a joint chalet – and each has one of its customers’ aircraft on show.

As well as the Interjet aircraft – on display outside the pavilion of Superjet International parent Finmeccanica – there is also a SSJ100 in high-density 103-seat configuration - and a special livery - operated by Russian carrier UTAir.

Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (SCAC) – a joint venture between the Russian design bureau and Alenia Aermacchi – has responsibility for marketing the aircraft in the CIS and Asia.

“We used to go to shows separately, but since Paris [air show in 2013], we proposed to SCAC that we integrate the chalet, and that’s what we did,” says Cauceglia. “The experience was positive so now we have decided to continue.”

The Farnborough air show is important to Superjet International, he says, “because now we can really sell to the market the service experience of our Western customer. They like this aircraft so much.”

Having the two aircraft on display reinforces the message that “this is truly a worldwide aircraft”, adds Cauceglia. “The Superjet is today operating in the hot and high climate of Mexico City and in the northern Russian winter.”

There is a further benefit to exhibiting together too. At last year’s Paris air show, tensions emerged between the two partners at an Alenia Aermacchi briefing. “This year we are saying that the partnership is solid,” says Cauceglia, who adds that Alenia Aermacchi parent Finmeccanica would not have agreed to display the Superjet as part of its pavilion if it had doubts about its future.

Cauceglia insists that, with the Mitsubishi Regional Jet still in development, the Superjet remains the “only new generation regional jet” in service.