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PIA considers ordering Sukhoi's Superjets

Islamabad, Pakistan - Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) considers ordering Sukhoi's SSJ100 jets, says Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov.

Last week, Pakistani officials had said the Russian-made SSJ100 could be included in the PIA's fleet on both wet and dry lease agreements with Sukhoi, including options to buy the planes later.

We interact directly with Pakistan Air. We have agreed that in January we will continue working on it, taking into account the fact that we must work out the destination network together with our colleagues. It concerns the possibility of supplying from 6 to 16 aircraft. Talks will continue next year,

said Manturov during his official visit to Pakistan this week.

Sukhoi SuperJet 100 is a Russian-made twin-engine regional passenger jet. The aircraft made its commercial debut in 2011 between Yerevan and Moscow with the Armenian flag carrier Armavia (The airline ceased its operations due to financial difficulties in 2013).

The aircraft has a flight range of 2376nm (4400km) with up 98 passengers aboard. The largest operator of the SSJ100 is the Russian flag carrier Aeroflot with 49 copies. The airline has 100 SSJ100 more on order waiting to be delivered over time.

On 5 May 2019, an Aeroflot SSJ100 crashed in Moscow. The plane had just taken off from Moscow Sheremetyevo when it was struck by lightning. The aircraft suffered an electrical failure and returned to Sheremetyevo for an emergency landing.

It bounced on landing and hit the ground hard, causing the landing gear to collapse, fuel to spill out of the wings and fire to erupt. The fire overwhelmed the rear of the aircraft, and 41 of the 78 passengers on board were killed.