The Royal Thai Air Force has taken delivery of two VIP-configured Sukhoi Superjet 100 airliners which will be utilised for personnel transport.
The air force will be the first export operator of the executive variant of the Superjet, which will transport government officials and high-ranking military officers.
Although the Swiss VIP operator Comlux has also taken delivery of an SSJ100, it has yet to enter service and remains with its US completions house.
Assembled in Russia, the Thai aircraft feature three separate cabins: a four-seat VIP area, a six-seat business-class cabin and a 50-seat passenger area.
Sukhoi won a competition to provide the aircraft in 2014, and in-service maintenance will be provided in Thailand. The first example carried out its maiden sortie on 23 October 2015, and delivery was not originally scheduled to take place until September 2016.
Flight Fleets Analyzer shows the air force to have one further example on order, dating from a March 2016 commitment, which is expected to be delivered in July 2017.
A roll-out ceremony was held on 15 July for the first two aircraft, attended by the commander-in-chief of the air force, Air Chief Marshal Treetod Sonjance.
“From the day the Royal Thai Air Force signed the contract to purchase the Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft on 15 September 2014, Sukhoi Civil Aircraft personnel have been at their best to provide the Royal Thai Air Force with a top product in accordance with its specification as well as to supply the ground support equipment, materials, and training programmes,” Sonjance says.
“All steps have been completed on schedule and only some training is still in process,” he adds. “The newly manufactured Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft is now ready to be stationed in the Royal Thai Air Force to support VIP operations."