Brunei shows interest in purchasing Russian Sukhoi Superjets

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Sukhoi SuperjetOne result of the meeting between Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah at the Russia-ASEAN summit in Sochi this week and both countries’ vow for closer cooperation was that Brunei is mulling over buying Russian-made Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft for its national airline.

According to Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov, deliveries of the aircraft to Brunei were “possible,” state news agency TASS reported.

The Sukhoi Superjet 100 is a twin-engine regional passenger airliner first commercialised in 2011 as Russia’s response to the domination of Boeing and Airbus in civil aviation and in competition to regional jets built by Embraer and Bombardier. It can carry up to 108 passengers over a distance of up to 2,700 miles.

Sukhoi, a division of Russia’s civil aerospace conglomerate United Aircraft Corporation, claims that the Superjet 100 had “substantially lower operating costs” and comes at a lower purchase price compared to its competitors of around $36 million in its basic configuration.

It is not clear how many Superjets Brunei might want to buy, but it seems that they wouldn’t come in large numbers. State airline Royal Brunei currently has a fleet of ten planes consisting of six Airbus A320-200 with an average age of 7.7 years and four newer Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Some more Airbus models, namely the A320neo, and another Dreamliner are on order, with first deliveries expected in 2017 and 2018.

The Sukhoi Superjets could be used to expand Royal Brunei’s regional network within Asia-Pacific, a strategy that is part of the airline’s new five-year business plan up to 2021. The carrier is evaluating several potential new destinations for 2016 and beyond, particularly medium-haul routes to Australia, South Asia and North Asia. While Royal Brunei’s long-haul routes to London, Dubai, Jeddah and Melbourne remain unprofitable, its short- and medium-haul operations provide higher yielding point-to-point traffic and thus are in the focus of the carrier’s restructuring plan.

The Sukhoi Superjet, due to its affordability, has been welcomed mainly by smaller airlines and budget carriers in developing countries. In Southeast Asia, only the Thai Air Force is currently using two jets as government airliners. Lao Central Airlines used to operate one, but the airline ceased operations in 2014. Indonesia’s Sky Aviation took delivery of three Superjets before going bankrupt in 2015.

Sukhoi’s largest customers for the Superjet 100 are Russia’s national airline Aeroflot (26 planes in operation), Mexico’s low-cost carrier Interjet (21 planes) and Gazpromavia, the passenger and cargo charter airline of Russia’s gas giant Gazprom (10 planes). Larger sales for airlines in China and India are on the radar.

Putin and Bolkiah also agreed on closer cooperation in defense and trade, as well as in energy through Lukoil and Gazprom.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

One result of the meeting between Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah at the Russia-ASEAN summit in Sochi this week and both countries’ vow for closer cooperation was that Brunei is mulling over buying Russian-made Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft for its national airline.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Sukhoi SuperjetOne result of the meeting between Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah at the Russia-ASEAN summit in Sochi this week and both countries’ vow for closer cooperation was that Brunei is mulling over buying Russian-made Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft for its national airline.

According to Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov, deliveries of the aircraft to Brunei were “possible,” state news agency TASS reported.

The Sukhoi Superjet 100 is a twin-engine regional passenger airliner first commercialised in 2011 as Russia’s response to the domination of Boeing and Airbus in civil aviation and in competition to regional jets built by Embraer and Bombardier. It can carry up to 108 passengers over a distance of up to 2,700 miles.

Sukhoi, a division of Russia’s civil aerospace conglomerate United Aircraft Corporation, claims that the Superjet 100 had “substantially lower operating costs” and comes at a lower purchase price compared to its competitors of around $36 million in its basic configuration.

It is not clear how many Superjets Brunei might want to buy, but it seems that they wouldn’t come in large numbers. State airline Royal Brunei currently has a fleet of ten planes consisting of six Airbus A320-200 with an average age of 7.7 years and four newer Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Some more Airbus models, namely the A320neo, and another Dreamliner are on order, with first deliveries expected in 2017 and 2018.

The Sukhoi Superjets could be used to expand Royal Brunei’s regional network within Asia-Pacific, a strategy that is part of the airline’s new five-year business plan up to 2021. The carrier is evaluating several potential new destinations for 2016 and beyond, particularly medium-haul routes to Australia, South Asia and North Asia. While Royal Brunei’s long-haul routes to London, Dubai, Jeddah and Melbourne remain unprofitable, its short- and medium-haul operations provide higher yielding point-to-point traffic and thus are in the focus of the carrier’s restructuring plan.

The Sukhoi Superjet, due to its affordability, has been welcomed mainly by smaller airlines and budget carriers in developing countries. In Southeast Asia, only the Thai Air Force is currently using two jets as government airliners. Lao Central Airlines used to operate one, but the airline ceased operations in 2014. Indonesia’s Sky Aviation took delivery of three Superjets before going bankrupt in 2015.

Sukhoi’s largest customers for the Superjet 100 are Russia’s national airline Aeroflot (26 planes in operation), Mexico’s low-cost carrier Interjet (21 planes) and Gazpromavia, the passenger and cargo charter airline of Russia’s gas giant Gazprom (10 planes). Larger sales for airlines in China and India are on the radar.

Putin and Bolkiah also agreed on closer cooperation in defense and trade, as well as in energy through Lukoil and Gazprom.

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