A meeting in late November chaired by Evgeny Ditrich, a member of the Board of Directors at Aeroflot, revealed that the airline intends to acquire five more Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft. This is part of an exercise to assist its overstretched regional fleet of aircraft. Five Superjet 100s will be leased.
Although the airline said it can postpone the order if it chooses, Aeroflot would like to have the five aircraft in service by the end of December.
Aeroflot has been operating the Russian-made Sukhoi Superjet 100 since mid-2011 and has 49 currently in service.
Despite a promising start and a handful of big names in the aerospace taking part in the programme, the Sukhoi airliner soon started running into problems.
A crash of a Superjet 100 in Indonesia on May 9, 2012, which left 45 people dead, begun turning public opinion against the jet which continues to this day.
Being the Russian flag carrier, Aeroflot was required to order the Superjet aircraft for its fleet. But other airlines that have been considering the jet started looking for more suitable foreign alternatives.
Although Aeroflot appears committed to the Sukhoi Superjet 100, the leasing of five new aircraft is regarded by many observers as no more than a simple move to fill gaps within its regional fleet as opposed to placing a substantial order for the jet.