Sukhoi claims 20-strong RRJ deal from new lessor

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Flight International Online news 09:30GMT: Russian airframer Sukhoi is claiming to have secured a tentative order for a batch of Russian Regional Jets, developed by its civil division, from a start-up Middle East lessor known as Concord Aviation.

Sukhoi Civil Aircraft director general Viktor Subbotin says the two sides reached an agreement following talks during the Dubai Air Show.

It covers the supply of 20 of the Snecma/NPO Saturn SaM-146-powered aircraft with a 95-seat configuration plus an option for 20 more aircraft. Deliveries would start in 2009.

“We have broken through to a new market,” says Subbotin, describing Concord Aviation as a newly-created Dubai-based leasing company planning to operate in the Middle East, Africa and India.

“We believe there are good prospects for the Russian Regional Jet programme in these regions.”

Reports from Dubai indicate that Concord Aviation is not on the official list of show participants and Sukhoi has declined to disclose further details about the company. But a spokesman for Sukhoi says it is planning to sign a firm contract with the lessor in February next year.

TOM ZAITSEV / LONDON