Brussels - These are the last days of Sukhoi Superjet at Brussels Airlines. The airline has been dissatisfied with the SSJ100s for a while and, therefore, returns the aircraft to the lessor.
Brussels Airlines leased the SSJ100s from the Irish regional airline operator CityJet. The Belgian carrier operated the jets on its European routes, and now the last unit in the fleet will make its final scheduled flight under Brussels colors early next week. According to Brussels CEO Christina Foerster, the Superjet is loved by customers, but there are too many operational shortfalls with the Russian jetliner.
Apart from Brussels Airlines, CityJet is the only one in Western Europe to fly with the Superjet, and the maintenance is quite problematic, Foerster says. There was no documentation on maintenance history and they had to wait very long for the delivery of some spare parts, he complained.
The carrier was not satisfied with the performance of the Superjets during last summer.
We have had to cancel flights to certain destinations. We apologize from our passengers for that. We tried to cancel flights in advance as much as possible, but of course, that was not what we had in mind, said Brussels' boss.
A return flight from Brussels to Billund will be the last Brussels Airlines flight with the SSJ100 on January 7.
The Sukhoi Superjet is a modern Russian airliner. Although the aircraft couldn't catch a sales success in the West, the manufacturer has 300 orders on its backlog mainly from Russian airline operators. Aeroflot is by far the biggest customer.