US engine leasing specialist Willis Lease Finance Corporation has signed a tentative agreement to acquire up to 10 Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft.
The memorandum of understanding covers the purchase of six of the 98-seat aircraft and the placement of options on another four.
Superjet International, which markets the twin-jet to Western customers, says deliveries would begin in September 2012, and values the potential deal at up to $300 million.
Willis Lease Finance is primarily active in the engine-leasing sector. Its portfolio at the end of June included 172 commercial aircraft engines, four aircraft parts packages and four aircraft, and other engine-related equipment.
While the California-based company has not disclosed the reasons behind the agreement, chief executive Charles Willis stated last month that the company was "encouraged" by tax regime reform in Russia which made it "easier to acquire or lease modern engines and aircraft".
Superjet 100 aircraft are equipped with PowerJet SaM146 turbofans.