MAKS: Superjet finds favour with Russian lessors

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Sukhoi's parent United Aircraft is establishing a leasing joint venture with Sberbank to market its Superjet regional airliner.

Ilyushin Finance - in which UAC owns a 48% stake - has meanwhile firmed up 20 orders for the type, after signing a "heads-of-agreement" deal at the Paris air show in June.

On 27 August, at the MAKS air show, Sukhoi and Sberbank tentatively undertook to jointly form a lessor that will acquire up to 50 aircraft with a total value of $2 billion at list prices.

This is "aimed at smoothing the way for active promotion of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 in the domestic and overseas markets", says UAC.

The manufacturing conglomerate adds that the venture should pave the way for more aircraft leasing in the Russian Federation by building up a legal framework, financing tools and sources, and government support.

Ilyushin Finance's 20 Superjets are to comprise 15 basic-variant jets - earmarked for customers in Southeast Asia and the Middle East - and five long-range models. However, customer negotiations have yet to be concluded, says Sukhoi.

The long-range version, in regular configuration, is equipped with 103 passenger seats, but the manufacturer says capacity will be increased via slimmer seats and additional seat rows.

Deliveries of the 20 aircraft are scheduled for 2015, with the long-range models to be supplied towards the end of that year.

UTair has also plumped for the Superjet, ordering six through an existing leasing contract, for delivery in 2014.

The Russian carrier has signed a delivery contract for the six aircraft with the manufacturer and Vneshekonombank's leasing arm. The jets - which have a total list-price value of $217 million - will be purchased by VEB-Leasing and delivered to UTair in 2014.

Sukhoi says that the deal represents the first stage of an earlier leasing contract.