Russia’s media say the country’s aviation giant Sukhoi has signed a basic agreement with Iran to sell its Superjet 100 planes.
Interfax news agency announced in a report that the agreement – which has been signed with an unnamed Iranian company – enables both sides to study the projected sales.
The news agency quoted an anonymous Russia aviation official as confirming the development. The official added, however, that the agreement was still not binding.
Hossein Alaei, the head of Iran’s Aseman Airlines, had earlier said his company was negotiating with Sukhoi as well as several other leading global plane makers to renovate its fleet.
Alaei added that Sukhoi had carried out trial flights of its Superjet 100 last week in Tehran – what he said had been carried out at the invitation of Aseman Airlines.
This past Sunday, an Iranian aviation official said that the country’s airlines were planning to open plane purchase talks with Sukhoi.
Maghsoud Asadi-Samani from Iran’s Aviation Companies Association was quoted by the domestic media as saying that the company’s Superjet 100 (SSJ100) aircraft was specifically being considered by Iranian airlines.
The Sukhoi Superjet 100 is a modern fly-by-wire twin-engine regional jet with up to 108 (all economy) passenger seats. With development initiated in 2000, the airliner was designed and spearheaded by Sukhoi, a division of the Russian civil aerospace company (UAC), in co-operation with several foreign partners, according to a report by Iran’s Mehr news agency.
Designed to compete internationally with its An-148, Embraer E-Jet and Bombardier CSeries counterparts, the Superjet 100 claims substantially lower operating costs.