Egypt has agreed in principal to purchase 12 of the SSJ-100 built by Russia's UAC, with the option to purchase 12 more at a future date.
Russia's United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) may have found another customer for its Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ-100), after Minister of Trade and Industry Denis Manturov told RIA Novosti he was discussing the sale of 12 aircraft to Egypt's national airline.
"We have already provided a demonstration of the SSJ100's capabilities to EgyptAir," Manturov said. "We demonstrated two models at the international airport in Cairo, the 95-seat passenger version and also the VIP version."
Manturov said he had already reached a preliminary agreement with Egypt's Minister of Civil Aviation and Minister of Transport, who insisted that Russia provide the best possible financial conditions for any deal.
"We are working on this issue," Manturov stated, adding, "We're talking about the possibility of supplying 12 aircraft now, plus an additional 12 planes at a future date."
UAC President Yuri Slusar told Kommersant in an interview that he hopes to sign a contract for the aircraft's sale by the end of the year, with the first shipment to take place in early 2016.
Any deal would be welcome boost for UAC, which up until recently has not had much success in shopping the SSJ-100 to foreign customers. UAC’s biggest customer for the jet is the Russian national airline Aeroflot, which currently operates 29 SSJ100s in its fleet. Outside of Russia, its only major customer is Mexico's Interject airline, which purchased 14 of the aircraft, however it declined to do a deal for the maintenance and repair of the aircraft, preferring to do this internally.
In parallel, UAC is also striving to find Asian buyers for the SSJ-100. It recently created a new leasing company called New Century International in a joint venture with Chinese investors that will work to lease the aircraft to Chinese and Southeast Asian airlines.
Image credit: SuperJet International via Flickr.com
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