Rossiya scathing over An-148 reliability

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Russian carrier Rossiya has catalogued the extent of flaws in the Antonov An-148 in another highly-critical assessment of the aircraft's reliability, listing problems with door locks, as well as engine and auxiliary power unit failures.

Reliability of the An-148 cannot guarantee a sufficient level of in-flight safety, Rossiya has claimed in a Moscow presentation on the programme, adding that remedial work has not improved reliability.

In the three months to September, including crew training flights, the company's five An-148 aircraft flew 1,725hr with Rossiya. In that time, 235 problems occurred, requiring over 2,000 man-hours of repair work.

In one 92-day period, one aircraft was unfit to fly for 89 days, Rossiya says. It gives the incidence of technical failure in its fleet as once every 344hr in the An-148, compared with every 5,355hr in its Airbuses, and 2,824hr in its Boeing 737s.

Rossiya has listed five incidents in three months with the An-148's undercarriage, electrical supply system and its flight-control system, which has caused particular problems with 31 failures in the three-month period.

Over this period, the aircraft had one of its Ivchenko-Progress D-436 engines and two APUs removed. The airline says the aircraft requires 3.8 times more man-hours of class 'A' maintenance than the 50-hour specified amount.

Ilyushin Finance, which markets the aircraft, insists the issues with the jet are normal problems for a new design: "In the process of use, these teething problems will be wrinkled out, but this takes a little time and we would hope that the manufacturer will promptly work out these issues as they arise, as there is a big demand for this aircraft."

Rossiya has called for establishment of an after-sales care service for the type by Russia's United Aircraft. The airline's complaints come just days after another client for the aircraft, Atlant-Soyuz, said it was considering buying the Sukhoi Superjet instead of the An-148s it has on order.