Aeroflot wants to be the first customer of a new civilian supersonic aircraft, CEO of the Russian flag carrier Vitaly Saveliev told Rossiya 24 TV Channel on March 15, 2018. Such a version would be in demand for transatlantic flights and long-distance home routes. 

"It would be good for us if Aeroflot receives an authority and we become the first customers,” Saveliev said, adding that “We will be pleased to receive a supersonic jet," according to the Russian news agency TASS.

Only two supersonic jets – Concorde and Tupolev Tu-144 – ever entered service as civilian airliners. But they turned out to be unprofitable and were eventually retired. In Saveliev’s opinion, those jets "were born before their time", but today, with new technologies and composite materials in place, there is an opportunity to create a new, economic jet.

According to Vesti news, Saveliev believes supersonic flight "is a vital necessity”. The head of Aeroflot says a supersonic airliner would be of interest to those who would like to fly from Russia’s capital Moscow to Vladivostok in the Russian Far East in 3 hours, instead of a journey that currently takes eight to nine hours.

According to him, the civilian version of the military supersonic Tu-160M would be more suitable for business aviation. Saveliev also believes that it is possible to modify the Tu-144, a supersonic passenger liner created in the USSR in the late 1960s.

On January 25, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed to make a civilian version of a supersonic aircraft based on the strategic missile carrier Tu-160M, after attending a demo flight of the upgraded supersonic strategic bomber in Kazan. The head of state suggested making a civilian version of this aircraft to save flight time, TASS reports.

The Russian aerospace and defense company, United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), already has a design of a supersonic civil airliner, the UAC’s chief Yury Slyusar reportedly told the President, writes.

Since supersonic passenger travel, which died out with the demise of the Concorde in 2003, may be coming back soon, it is no surprise Russia would want to join the race together with many other entities, such as NASA, Lockheed Martin or General Electric, developing supersonic jet projects.