The Russian manufacturer Irkut is in hopes to seize new markets, as it reportedly discusses potential twinjet MC-21 orders with Indonesia. Garuda Indonesia just cancelled its Boeing 737 MAX orders and Lion Air is about to do the same – Irkut thinks there might be a chance for MC-21-300 to refill the hangars, as aircraft belongs to the same narrow-body category.
Russia currently holds talks about MC-21 and its prospects with a number of countries in Asia Pacific, including Indonesia, Head of Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation (Minpromtorg) Sergey Manturov told Interfax.
Calling Asia Pacific “the key market” for Russian civil planes promotion, Manturov claimed SSJ-100s are already in operation there, while the MC-21 negotiations are being actively pursued.
However, the only civil airline flying SSJ-100s in Asia Pacific, Indonesian charter carrier Sky Aviation, ceased operations in 2014, according to the information on Planespotters.net. Other than that, to date three SSJ-100s are in the fleet of Royal Thai Air Force.
In 2018, Brussels Airlines and CityJet – two of the few foreign SSJ customers – renounced the use of their SSJ-100s due to engine problems and troublesome maintenance, which meant that SSJ-100 aircraft remains mostly operated by airlines in Russia.
After it gets certification (presumably in 2020), MC-21-300 is expected to first enter the Russian market, before going international.
Having experienced a string of manufacturing challenges, exacerbated by the U. S. sanctions, MC-21 finally seems to have dark times with the “black wing” over, as the first parts of domestic composites’ substitutes are ready, writes state media TACC.
There is no need to redesign the wing structure, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuriy Borisov told TACC. Yet still, the additional investments to prepare the composite wing substitution were evaluated at approximately $42.4 million (2.7 billion rubles).
MC-21 demand in Russia currently stands at 860, according to Borisov. The airliner is a short and medium haul narrow-body passenger jet, expected to enter production in 2021.