Aeroflot – Russian Airlines received a letter from the Federal Air Transport Agency informing the carrier about abeyance of certificate of airworthiness of four out of 10 Aeroflot’s Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft, Vedomosti reports.
A representative of Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company (SCAC) has confirmed the fact of temporary grounding of the jets. He said that this refers to the first four aircraft delivered to the carrier. The malfunction of landing gear and slats has been detected on these jets. At that SCAC assures that the company has found the cause of these problems and it is fixing it at the moment. The meetings with the participation of Aeroflot’s representatives will be held soon and the jets’ operation will be resumed within a week, he assured.
A source close to the Federal Air Transport Agency said that in fact this is a much more serious problem. According to the flight data recorders, only three out of 10 Aeroflot’s SSJ 100s are performing regular flights. The rest seven jets are undergoing repairs.
We remind you that information on SSJ-100’s faults was unveiled long ago. The carrier stated last year that the average daily flying time of the jets is about 3.9 hours (while the standard daily flying time of a regional jet must be about 8-9 hours). The grounding was caused by faults and delays in deliveries of spare parts, said in the presentation submitted by Aeroflot to the Federal Air Transport Agency. However, at that time a source from SCAC reported that Aeroflot has not experience any direct loss.
The carrier has ordered a total of 30 SSJ 100s and got an enormous discount — 38% of the list price ($19 million instead of $31 million). Besides, SCAC provided the carrier with free engineering and technical support, trained its pilot-instructors and delivered the FFS for SSJ 100, a source close to the company reports. However, the first jets have been delivered to Aeroflot in configuration other than the one stipulated by the contract. SCAC promised to replace these jets with the new ones in the coming years.