The Embassy of the Russian Federation in Windhoek on Sunday facilitated the exhibition at Hosea Kutako International Airport of the Sukhoi Super Jet SSi 100 958 VIP model for the benefit of government officials.
This is the Russian aviation industry’s first effort this century to enter the African market with its narrow-bodied jets.
With its range of new aircraft Russia is building an international reputation outside the former USSR’s borders, explained Maksim Bureev, the trade representative of the Russian Federation in the Republic of South Africa.
Director for communications at Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Alexander Yarovoy said more than 100 of its aircraft are in operation around the world and they are now looking for potential markets in Africa. “We just don’t want to sell. We want to establish a joint venture with full technical support services,” Yarovoy told New Era upon inquiry.
The Sukhoi Super Jet SSi 100 958 VIP model on display has 18 seats with enough legroom, a bedroom, a master toilet and onboard USB connections for cellphones. The first class cabin can in no time be arranged into a conference room, just by pulling some chairs into place.
Given its hefty prize tag of US$35 million (N$525 million) Bureev said it is a thoroughly modern state-of-the art aircraft engineered for reliability, low running and maintenance costs and boasts fuel-efficient engines.
It offers the best passenger experience in the class and comes with a comprehensive after-sales and worldwide support service, Bureev said, adding that the 100-seater Sukhoi 100 Super jet is “a workhorse on any regional route”.
He highlighted that the super jet outperforms rivals, like the Embraer 190 and the Antonov An148, in some respects.
Bureev highlighted the plane’s impressive aerodynamic performance, saying it cruises at a maximum speed of Mach 0.81 at 40 000 feet.
“It takes off from a 1.730 metre runway in a basic range and 2.052 metres in the long range,” said Bureev.
Gustav Holz, managing director of West Air Aviation based at Eros Airport, told New Era the aircraft is a beauty with its stylised finishing works: “It’s very modern, sophisticated and ranges in the top five category.”
Brigadier General Petrus Nathinge of the Namibian Defence Force said: “We’re very impressed with its capabilities and the price range.”