Sukhoi is expecting to complete three serial examples of its Superjet 100 regional jet before 2011.

Russian presidential plenipotentiary envoy in the far eastern federal district, Viktor Ishayev, has visited the airframer's Komsomolsk-on-Amur plant as it prepares to hand over the first aircraft to a launch customer.

He says: "They will produce three Superjets this year and 14 in 2011. One of them has performed 30 pre-delivery flights. The other is in the paint shop and the third is undergoing wiring."

While admitting that the plant is lagging behind the original schedule, Ishayev says it has a sound production plan. "We'll help to carry it out," he adds. "As it increases sales, there should be substantial tax revenues for budgets at all levels."

Ishayev has identified Armenian flag-carrier Armavia, rather than Aeroflot, as the first Superjet 100 recipient, with delivery due to take place in December.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news