The first Russian aircraft, developed in the country after the collapse of the USSR – Sukhoi SuperJet 100 – continues to bring losses to Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company.

Despite record orders for the supply of airliners, it was not possible to fulfill the plan to break even in 2017.

According to Vedomosti, which refers to top managers and sources close to the company, the manufacturer under the umbrella of the United Aircraft Corporation finished the year in the red for the 9th consecutive year, its net loss amounting to about 1 billion rubles ($17.5 million).

Since 2008, when the Italian company Alenia Aeronautica entered the company's capital, it suffered a total loss of more than $2 billion.

The break-even point is unlikely to come in the next three years, a source close to the UAC told Vedomosti. "Just this year the company needs to invest 5-7 billion rubles in the after-sales service system. We also need to invest in the development of new SSJ-100 modifications necessary for the market," the source explained.

At the beginning of December, according to SCAC, a total of 135 SSJ-100 were produced. The largest buyer is Aeroflot, which bought 33 planes. The former were sold at a price below the cost, recognizes another source close to the UAC.

According to him, now the demand is formed at the expense of state support – the state transport leasing company buys airplanes.

With export demand, it is more difficult: SSJ-100 has teething problems, says Fyodor Borisov, a leading researcher at the Institute of Transport Economics.

In 2016, half of the fleet of Sukhoi aircraft from Aeroflot did not fly because of the difficulties with obtaining spare parts and their high cost.

The average flying time of Aeroflot on SSJ-100 was a little over 3 hours a day. The second largest operator in Russia – Gazpromavia flew the Sukhoi jet on average 2.1 hours a day. The main foreign buyer is Mexican Interjet – 5-6 hours. For comparison, profitable low-cost carriers keep their aircraft in the air up to 12-13 hours a day.

"The success of the program, including export deliveries, depends on the solution of technical problems, the aircraft must fly, and not stand on the ground," says Borisov, adding that the after-sales service remains the bottleneck of the SSJ-100.