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Air Serbia likely to order Sukhoi Superjet to expand its fleet

Belgrade, Serbia - According to the Russian government sources, the Serbian flag carrier Air Serbia is in talks with Russian aircraft manufacturer Sukhoi to acquire SS100 Superjet.

The deal to likely include the establishment of an SSJ100 MRO center that would be jointly managed by the Serbian MRO provider Jat Tehnika and Russian United Aircraft Corporation (UAC).

Jat Tehnika already completed personnel training and acquired essential equipment for SSJ100 maintenance. In June, the company was also certified by EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) to service the type.

Air Serbia did not comment on the issue yet. The SSJ100 is able to accommodate 87 to 108 passengers, depending on the cabin configuration.

The Russian manufacturer plans to design an improved version of the aircraft supplied with new engines, new composite materials and new wing design, which will enter into service in 2025.

During an interview with Russian reporters, Sergei Prikhodko, First Deputy Head of the Russian Government Office, said that the Serbian carrier is also interested in the Irkut's MC-21 besides SSJ100.

The MC-21, which is developed by another UAC subsidiary Irkut, is currently under certification campaign and expected to make its commercial debut next year with the launch customer Aeroflot.

The MC-21 can accommodate 132 to 211 passengers depending on the cabin layout and intended to compete with the Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX.

According to the manufacturer, the aircraft will be much cheaper than its western competitors alongside its 5% to 7% lower operating cost per seat.

The MC-21 will come with two variants (-100 and -300) and will be offered with two engine options - Pratt & Whitney's PW1400G-JM turbofans and Russian-made Aviadvigatel PD-14.