Sukhoi ponders Superjet leasing venture

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Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (SCAC) is considering setting up a dedicated leasing subsidiary to finance Superjet 100 deliveries to Asian customers.

The tentative plan is to establish a new lessor dubbed Air Finance Ltd, says a source at SCAC, which is co-owned by Sukhoi and Alenia Aermachhi. He adds that the two partners have not yet determined their stakes in the proposed venture.

"This lessor is specifically designed to make financial arrangements for deals with customers in southeast Asia, one of our most promising markets," says the source. "The issue is to be discussed during the upcoming board meeting."

To date, Sukhoi has handed over two baseline Superjet 100s to the Indonesian carrier Sky Aviation and two to Lao Central Airlines.

Several carriers from Thailand, Myanmar and India have signed letters of intent to acquire up to 24 of the type, plus 22 options.

In August, Sukhoi's parent United Aircraft concluded an agreement with Sberbank to market Superjets through a leasing joint venture.