Sukhoi looks for a second chance with SSJ100 in Iran


Tehran - At the beginning of 2017, Iran's appetite for the Sukhoi Superjet ended. A representative of the Association of Iranian Airlines stated that the Russian regional jet was no longer suitable for Iranian operators.

Maghsoud Asadi-Samani called problems as the reason that the Iranian Airline Operators had in the past with the aircraft. In addition, the jet was not well-known in Iran.

But now the Russian plane gets a new chance in the country. On February 12, a Sukhoi Superjet 100 landed with an engineering team on board at Mehrabad airport in the capital Tehran. The visit is meant to be part of a new take on Sukhoi to find customers in Iran. And also the representative of the airline association spoke up again after the presentation of Sukhoi, this time however much more positively.

No US approval needed

Maghsoud Asadi-Samani told the Iranian news agency Tasnim that, Sukhoi has reduced the proportion of US-made components in the Superjet to less than 10 percent with the latest adjustments.

This would require no approval from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control. Maghsoud Asadi-Samani called the Superjet 100 a suitable option for Iran under these circumstances, as many regional airports in the country were idled due to the lack of aircraft with fewer than 100 seats.

Iranian airlines have already made large orders from other manufacturers. The state-owned Iran Air alone ordered 80 aircraft from Boeing, 100 from Airbus and 20 from ATR. However, the deliveries are slow. By the end of 2017, eleven ATR, three Airbus arrived in Iran. No Boeing was taken over yet.

Financial difficulties

Airbus' outgoing sales chief John Leahy told Reuters in mid-January that the original timetable may not be met.

We have to arrange the financing. It is important to understand that pre-delivery payments are necessary. Apparently, it's a problem that many banks do not do business with Iran, so they do not mess with the U.S.,
he added.