Moskovia introduces another two Superjet 100s

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Russian carrier Moskovia is preparing to phase in two Sukhoi Superjet 100s on scheduled international services during the summer season.

The aircraft have been repainted and are now in Moskovia's hangar at Zhukovsky near Moscow. They were originally intended for defunct Armenian flag carrier Armavia.

"We've left their cabin layouts intact," says deputy director for fleet development, Viktor Soin. "One has 87 seats in the economy and eight in business section, while the other is all-economy."

The first aircraft will enter revenue service on 1 June, operating six times weekly flights from Moscow Domodedovo to Tivat in Montenegro.

"The other will be introduced after it performs an acceptance flight and a second group of pilots complete fast-track training," says Soin. "Today we have four Superjet cockpit crews. We need six more."

Moskovia will become the third Russian operator of the type, alongside Aeroflot and Yakutia Airlines. It is looking to utilise each of the two Superjets up to 400h a month and deploy them on other routes afterwards.

Soin believes that this is a realistic goal. "We're not confused by [Superjet's] teething problems at all," he says. "Such problems are usual for any new aircraft type, and Sukhoi keeps fixing them steadily."