Optimisation needed for Superjet to reach 'full potential': Armavia

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Armenian flag carrier Armavia has given the Sukhoi Superjet 100 a positive review after the first seven months of service, but said that operations need to be optimised to realise type's "full potential".

The aircraft's launch customer held a press conference together with Sukhoi, engine manufacturer Powerjet and Venice-based marketing subsidiary Superjet International in Moscow last week to discuss the in-service experience.

While the regional jet met the airline's requirements "perfectly", Sergey Kharatyan, head of Armavia's flight services division, said that "continuous dialogue" with the manufacturer would "help to optimise the operation...to use the full potential of this remarkable aircraft".

He added that the type "efficiently fits some of our mainline destinations" and that passengers had "highly appreciated" the comfort levels of its cabin.

Fellow launch customer Aeroflot had to ground its first Superjet for 12 days within a month of the operational start in June due to a malfuntion of the air conditioning system.

Superjet International said that the problem has been solved with the equipment's supplier in the meantime.

Spurious fault messages with the aircraft's health monitoring system have been another issue, but this has been rectified through software updates, the aftermarket support firm said.

Between the aircraft's delivery to Armavia on 20 April and 20 November, the airline completed 528 revenue flights, totalling approximately 1,300 flight hours.

The highest daily utilisation was 16.5 flight hours while the longest route took the twinjet from its base in Yerevan more than 4,000km (2,158nm) to Madrid.

Armavia has a second Superjet on order and options for two more aircraft.