More Rossiya An-148s to undergo enhancement

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St Petersburg-based airline Rossiya is to modify other Antonov An-148 regional jets in its fleet as the airline continues introducing the type to its operation.

The carrier on 24 August accepted the fifth serially-built An-148 with the sixth of the type due to begin pre-delivery test flights at the Voronezh airframer VASO.

One of four An-148s, registered RA-61701, was last month flown back to VASO to undergo performance reviews and refinement.

A spokesman for Rossiya says it will also successively transfer the other three previously-received jets for technological improvements.

"These should remove the technical glitches and allow us to stretch the type's serviceability, up to deploying it on international routes," he says.

Chief of the An-148 assembly line Anatoly Suponetsky says VASO is trying to rectify all the initial problems related to the production ramp-up.

"We're working towards reducing the assembly cycle but still need to tackle some bottlenecks. This mainly involves further retooling and workforce training," he says.

"Once we resolve these issues, we'll be capable of building one or two An-148s a month and increasing their operational efficiency to customer requirements."