The last European operator of Sukhoi Superjet 100 has reportedly returned its Russian-made aircraft to the owner. The aircraft manufacturer claims that it “contradicts the reality”. Well, sort of.

CityJet, the last European operator to have Sukhoi Superjet 100 in its fleet, has returned the aircraft to the owner, Vedomosti reported on February 18, 2019. According to the publication, the reason for the decision a huge lack of spare parts, which caused long groundings of the aircraft.

CityJet is changing its business model?

In response to the publication, Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company (SCAC) has released a statement, refuting the information that aircraft were returned to their owner by claiming it “contradicts the reality”. However, SCAC also adds that “Currently CityJet is reconsidering its business-model, and therefore SCAC and CityJet are being under active cooperation as far as SSJ100 is concerned”.

CityJet: we’re not changing our business model

But CityJet claims it is “certainly not reconsidering its business model”, neither it is in “active cooperation” with SCAC, according to the company’s statement sent to AeroTime. As for the aircraft in question, the company refused to comment on whether or not is has returned the aircraft due to confidentiality obligations, but did confirmed that it is not using SS100 for commercial flights for over a month. “CityJet’s last commercial operation of a SSJ 100 was January 7th, 2019”.

CityJet received seven Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft in 2016-2017 and was wet-leasing them to Brussels Airlines. However, of the seven aircraft, six appear to be stored, while one has changed hands at the end of 2018, based on planespotters.net data. 

SSJ100 in Europe

In November 2018, the only European airline, which regularly operated SSJ 100 renounced the use of the aircraft. Brussels Airlines, opted of not prolonging wet-lease contract with CityJet after it expired at the end of 2018.

On another hand, also in November 2018, Slovenian airline Adria Airways signed a letter of intent for 15 SSJ100. As per it, the total order would be a combination of new and second-hand aircraft, with the first deliveries expected in 2019. The airline and SCAC also made an agreement to establish the airliner maintenance and repair company in Slovenia.