Sukhoi backtracks after listing Superjets for Alitalia

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Russian airframer Sukhoi is backpedalling from information in its annual report pointing to an agreement from Alitalia for its Superjet 100 aircraft.

The manufacturer is claiming that a table detailing its order backlog, and which listed a firm 20-aircraft commitment from the Italian flag-carrier, was published "erroneously".

"In the backlog table certain airlines are mentioned by mistake," insists Sukhoi. "The same table mistakenly mixed firm orders with slot allocations."

Sukhoi hastily withdrew the annual report after ATI reported the apparent Alitalia agreement, republishing it with the backlog table removed.

"New orders are expected to be signed at Farnborough," says the airframer, without giving further details.

The information in the table had listed 123 aircraft as firm orders, from eight customers, although the backlog appeared to have undergone amendments since June 2009 when the airframer registered orders for 122 Superjets, from nine customers.

Aeroflot and Armavia still have a total of 32 Superjets on order. These carriers are set to receive the first deliveries of the type.

Bu two Russian carriers - AirUnion and Dalavia - have ceased operations and Sukhoi is no longer counting their combined order for 21.

Russian lessor Avialeasing has 24 in the backlog and a spokeswoman for Sukhoi says the 10-strong order for Finance Leasing Company is still intact, although the annual report listed these as two firm and eight optioned aircraft. Finance Leasing Company signed an agreement last August to supply two Superjets to Siberian carrier Yakutia.

The Sukhoi spokeswoman says there are three non-Russian customers for the Superjet: ItAli Airlines with an order for 10, Asset Management Advisors with five, and an undisclosed customer for 20.

But Sukhoi's backlog table in its annual report, before the data was removed, indicated a different composition. It listed ItAli's order but also included 20 aircraft against Alitalia's name, and attributed another 15 and 20 Superjets to customers respectively identified as SOGECA and ACE.