Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company (SCAC) has been left reeling this week after the Slovenian national carrier, Adria Airways has cancelled its 15 aircraft deal to lease 15 SSJ100’s.
The Ljubljana Airport based carrier signed a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ with the Russian aircraft manufacturer back on November 26th last year for the long term lease of 15 of the firms Superjet SSJ100 aircraft. However, Adria Airways now says it has been unable to finalise the deal as it has doubts Sukhoi’s ability to commit “to a fair and stable long-term partnership”.
The airline had been intensively preparing for the arrival of the aircraft but shareholders and management decided they could no longer commit to the deal. “We are naturally disappointed that the collaboration with Sukhoi did not reach a successful conclusion, but the partnership was only viable if given objectives set by the strategic business plan were attainable. Unfortunately, in this case, we did not think this is possible,” said Holger Kowarsch, the Managing Director of Adria Airways.
Following the collapse of the deal, Adria will continue to focus on its existing scheduled route network with its current fleet of aircraft. The airline has also recently been contracted by the German carrier Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) on a wet -lease basis to operate some flights out of Germany. Austrian Airlines are also wet leasing two Bombardier CRJ900s from Slovenian airline.
Adria’s cancellation comes hot on the heels of much press speculation that the Mexican airline Interjet was on the cusp of returning its entire fleet of 22 SSJ100’s – 16 of which are currently grounded by the carrier. Many of these jets are out of service due to mechanical issues with the PowerJet SaM146 engines and Interjet hasn’t paid for repairs.
However, SCAC has denied the stories warning of the return of Interjet’s fleet, saying that “There are no plans to return the aircraft. Interjet, the operator of the SSJ100, plans further SSJ100 operation. SCAC and PowerJet, the manufacturer of the engines, offered the operator a number of solutions in order to make the operation of the SSJ100 more efficient. The airline is currently considering the offer.”.
Currently, there are approximately 138 SSJ100 in operation, 105 with Russian airlines and operators and 33 with other airlines. In Russia, the aircraft is flown by, Aeroflot, Gazrpomavia, Yakutiya, Yamal, IrAero, Azimut, Severstal, Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, EMERCOM, Government Squadron, RusJet. Outside of Russia, the twinjets are operated by Interjet, CityJet, Thai Royal Airforce and Kazakhstan governmental structures. However, CityJet cancelled half of its order and 6 remaining aircraft are all currently stored. Any decisions about the return of the aircraft would only be possible after intensive multilateral negotiations and consultations.