Sukhoi foresees the Superjet 100 being certificated for steep landing approaches at London City airport in 2017.
The Russian manufacturer's civil aircraft divisional president Ilya Tarasenko confirms this target, noting the regional airliner will require modifications – including installation of winglets and software changes – for operations from the UK capital's downtown gateway.
Hardware design has been completed, he says, and existing aircraft can be retrofitted with the additional equipment.
Tarasenko was speaking to Flightglobal as a first Superjet was handed over to CityJet in the Italian city of Venice on 24 May. Venice is home to SuperJet International, a Sukhoi-Finmeccanica joint venture responsible for the aircraft's sales and support in international markets.
Provision of a steep-approach capability is part of Sukhoi's order agreement with CityJet. The Irish carrier's network is largely centred on London City. However, CityJet executive chairman Pat Byrne indicates that the airline does not expect to operate the type from London City before late 2018.
Tarasenko says Sukhoi is holding discussions with Chinese operators about a potential Superjet order. The manufacturer aims to sell the aircraft to Middle Eastern customers too.
CityJet will be the first western European customer to operate the Superjet and the second Western airline after Mexican carrier Interjet.