LONDON — Russian flag carrier, Aeroflot (MU), has signed a deal with Sukhoi for 100 more Superjet SSJ100s at the Eastern Economic Forum, adding to the 49 planes it currently has in its fleet.

List prices for this deal is estimated at around US$3.54 billion. The deliveries of the 100 planes will take place between 2019 and 2026. 

Each SSJ100 will be configured with a two-class layout, offering 12 seats in Business and 75 seats in Economy Class.

Photo: Dmitry Zherdin

Aeroflot just received its 48th SSJ100 during the first week of September due to receive its 50th SSJ within the next few months. Once the carrier receives the last plane from this new order, it will operate 150 units by 2026.

Aeroflot was the launch customer of the type in June 2011, performing its first revenue flight on the Moscow-St. Petersburg route.

Aeroflot: Largest SSJ Operator

Vitaly Saveliev, the CEO and Chairman of the airline, announced that “we signed the largest agreement in the newest history of the airline, the company will receive another 100 modern Russian aircraft SSJ100.”

Saveliev added that this order comes side-by-side with the current agreement the airline has for 50 Irkut MC-21 jets. “By 2026 our company will put on routes 200 Russian aircraft,” he said.

“Aeroflot has always performed the important role of the launch customer for Russian planes. Acting to the best interest of Russian aviation and the whole country is our absolute priority,” he added.

As a launch customer and the current operator of the biggest SSJ100 fleet, Aeroflot has had a tremendous influence in the development of the Superjet program.

In fact, Yury Slyusar, President of United Aircraft Corporation, confirmed that the Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company and Aeroflot “are bonded with a long-lasting experience of collaboration.”

“Signing the long-term agreement is a new page in this collaboration, another joint input in the development of the aircraft production. We are content that the work with the leading Russian airline continues,” he noted.

Alexander Rubtsov, President of Sukhoi, admitted that the cooperation between Aeroflot and Sukhoi has become an invaluable experience.

“The increase of the fleet via adding more Russian aircraft is the highest appreciation of our work and the sign that we are on the right way,” Rubtsov said.

Currently, Aeroflot’s SSJ100s deliver services to Belgorod, Nizhny Novgorod, Orenburg, Perm, Saratov, Sochy, Syktyvkar, Tyumen, Chelyabinsk in Russia alone.

A Diverse Fleet Looking For Consolidation

The Russian airline has been one of the world’s most diverse fleet operators. 

Currently, it has 247 aircraft in its fleet, composed of Airbus A320/321, A330-200/300, Boeing 737-800, 777-300(ER)s, and the 49 Sukhoi SuperJet SSJ100s.

PHOTO: Arcturus.

However, in the past, the airline also operated the Soviet Antonov An-124, Ilyushin Il-96, Tupolev Tu-134, Tu-204, Yakovlev Yak-42, as well as the Western McDonnell Douglas DC-10, and MD-11s.

In July, it was revealed that the Russian carrier is negotiating with Airbus the expansion of its long-haul fleet with a potential order of 28 Airbus A350-900s, worth $7.8 billion at list prices.

The airline recently posted a loss of $184.5 million citing rising fuel costs. However, with Russian demand for travel increasing, and the internal competition decreasing—particularly after the demise of Transaero—Aeroflot may be positioning itself as a stronger leader in the international air travel in and out of Russia.

The purchase order for 100 SSJ100s is a big step forward for Sukhoi and its Superjet program, which will give it a lifeline for another eight years.