Mexican carrier Interjet continues to be pleased with the performance of its Sukhoi Superjet 100s, but has indicated that it will not be interested in a stretched variant of the type that Sukhoi is currently studying.
The airline operates 16 SSJ100s and will receive the 17th before the end of the year, Interjet’s chief executive Jose Luis Garza tells Flightglobal. It has a total of 30 orders for the type, after firming 10 options earlier this year.
Interjet recently performed C-checks on two SSJ100s in Mexico that went well, says Garza. “The aircraft is robust enough for our high utilisation,” he adds.
Still, the airline is working with the aircraft’s manufacturer to improve what Garza refers to as “operational flaws” from the type’s fully digital equipment software. “It’s nothing extraordinary,” he says. “It’s a learning curve for us and learning curve for them… the experience will dictate any changes they make.”
While winglets for the SSJ100 have been discussed, Garza indicates that the improvement has not been formally offered to customers. “If they introduce winglets, hopefully they will be retrofittable.”
Interjet, for now, has no interest in a stretched 130-seat variant of the Superjet if it is offered, says Garza. The airline’s SSJ100s are configured with 93 seats. “We are happy… the customer experience so far has been good.”
Garza, however, is keen on acquiring more Airbus A320s when a liberalised US-Mexico bilateral air services agreement is ratified. The deal will lift restrictions on the number of airlines allowed to serve on certain US-Mexico city pairs, which will in turn enable Mexican carriers to operate to more US destinations.
“We are looking at some additional A320s to cover our growth until we get the [A320]neos in 2018,” says Garza. He foresees adding four or five new US destinations, which could lead to the airline acquiring at least five additional A320s. New destinations will likely include Los Angeles, which Interjet has expressed interest in for some time.
Interjet operates 39 A320s currently and holds an order for 40 A320neos.
Source: Cirium Dashboard