Superjet International stresses confidence in programme as crash probe continues

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Superjet International officials today re-affirmed aircraft manufacturing by Sukhoi Civil Aircraft continues while Indonesian and Russian authorities investigate the cause of a 9 May crash by a Superjet 100 on a demonstration flight from Jakarta.

"As far as I'm aware there's no change," said John Buckley, vice-president of business development, speaking to reporters at the Regional Airline Association annual convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota. "There's no cause for change. We're building airplanes as we were before [the crash]."

Buckley's comments are among the first public statements by Superjet International, the Alenia-Sukhoi marketing arm of the Superjet 100 programme, since the tragedy, when a prototype Superjet 100 crashed into the side of Mount Salak killing all 45 on board.

The crash remains under investigation by Indonesian civil authorities, with Sukhoi representatives also on hand. A cockpit voice recorder has been located in the wreckage, and the search continues for the aircraft's data recorder at the remote crash site.

"We want to assure you that we continue to fully support the Sukhoi Superjet 100 programme," says Giacomo Perfetto, head of communications of Superjet, reading a statement by chief executive Nazario Cauceglia. "It does not alter our belief in the product or its safety."

The company is still expected to deliver the first Superjet to North American launch customer Interjet, a Mexico City-based low-cost airline, in the second half of this year. Asked about the status of the Interjet delivery, Buckley declined to comment.

"This is a tragedy and it's something you wish had not happened and the entire community attempts to recover as it always has in the past," Buckley says. "That's all I can say."