Despite signing a new deal with Airbus to buy 118 planes worth $25-billion, Iran is still interested in reaching an agreement with Russia’s Sukhoi for the purchase of Sukhoi Superjet-100 (SSJ-100) passenger planes, one of the top managers of Iran Civil Aviation Organization (IRI) told Sputnik in an exclusive interview.
The $25-billion deal signed between the Iranian government and France's Airbus that would guarantee the sale of 118 Airbus jets to Tehran won't affect Iran's long-standing interest in the purchase of Russian SSJ-100 planes.
“I think we'll see very soon [SSJ-100 planes]. Between two and three Iranian companies are interested in the Sukhoi and they're aware of the advantages of the Russian airliner,” the top IRI representative told Spupnik.
Long-standing ties and trust between Russia and Iran make Tehran confident that the Sukhoi passenger jet would also be a good deal for Iranian companies. In the past, Iran used Tupolev Tu-154 planes, which showed themselves as reliable and high-quality jets.
The man also said that the SSJ-100 would have high demand in Iran, especially for domestic flights, considering a perfect combination between the plane's engine-class and the number of passengers it can carry onboard. In other words, from the commercial point of view, Iranian companies would profit when using Sukhoi planes for domestic flights.
During the initial stages of cooperation, Iranian companies would probably lease Russian jets to see how the Sukhoi could be best used in Iran.
“Our airline companies would like to lease some Sukhoi planes and see how they would recommend themselves in Iran,” the IRI representative said.
The high-ranking Iranian official added that Russo-Iranian cooperation in the field of civil aviation would provide a basis for future strategic cooperation between the two countries.
The SSJ-100 is a twin-engine regional jet with eight VIP and 108 economic-class seats, developed by Sukhoi in cooperation with several foreign partners. The SSJ-100 is best used for mid-range flights, as the plane's maximum range is between 3,000 km and 4,500 km depending on a model.