SJI looks to expand Superjet support network

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The international marketing arm for the Sukhoi Superjet 100 is evaluating how to bolster its support network for the Russian regional jet as it looks to add more overseas customers.

Venice-based Superjet International (SJI) - a joint venture between Alenia Aeronautica and Sukhoi Holding - is responsible for selling the Superjet 100 to Western markets and undertakes delivery, customisation training and support functions for these international customers. It is due to deliver its first Superjet from its Venice facility at the end of the summer of 2012 to Mexican customer Interjet, which has 15 on order.

International Superjet customers are located in Italy (Blue Panorama), Laos (Phongsavanh Airlines) and Indonesia (Kartika Airlines and Sky Aviation). Customers also include lessors Willis Lease Finance and Pearl Aircraft Leasing, and Swiss VIP operator Comlux Aviation.

"We have support centres in Venice and Moscow and spares warehouses in Frankfurt and Moscow," said SJI chief executive Carlo Logli. "With the arrival of Interjet next year we'll open a spare-parts centre the USA, probably in Fort Lauderdale, which would support the Americas."

Logli added that discussions are underway for Interjet to offer MRO services throughout the region.

SJI is now evaluating how it will support its Asian customer base. "We are thinking about opening something in that region but haven't decided where yet," said Logli. "It could be in Singapore."

Forty-eight flightcrews have now completed the Superjet course at the Moscow training centre - primarily for launch operators Aeroflot and Armenia's Armavia. "We will start the real preparation for Interjet's entry into service in Spring next year. We will then start training the pilots, cabin crew and mechanics," said Logli.