Moskovia to put Superjet in service on 1 June

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Russian carrier Moskovia is to launch its Sukhoi Superjet operations on 1 June.

Two Superjets originally intended for Armavia have arrived at Moskovia's Zhukovsky hangar after repainting. "We've left their cabin layouts intact," says deputy director for fleet development Viktor Soin. "One has 87 seats in economy and eight in business, while the other is all-economy."

The first to enter service will fly Moskovia's six-times-weekly service from Moscow Domodedovo to Tivat, 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 a third Russian operator of the regional aircraft type, following 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.

"We're not confused by [the Superjet's] teething problems at all," says Soin. "Such problems are usual for any new aircraft type and Sukhoi keeps fixing them steadily."