The aircraft was delivered to the airline in late December at its Cherepovets home base airport. It features a convertible cabin, which affords seating capacity adjustments, and offers between 100 single economy class seats, or a two-class 93-seat configuration with eight in business.
The company is leasing the domestic-made Sukhoi SSJ-100s on a 12-year term from State Transport Leasing Company (GTLK). The leasing firm is to deliver three more Superjets to Severstal within the period 2018-2019. The airline also has an option for another two aircraft. Russian regional jets are to replace airline’s entire fleet of ageing Bombardier CRJ200s.
Severstal’s order is for the SSJ100 B100 version with the more powerful SaM146-1S18 engines for improved runway performance. The airline also plans to retrofit its SSJ100 fleet with blended winglets (nicknamed Saberlets), which are currently being tested by the aircraft’s manufacturer Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company (SCAC). Severstal is poised to be one of the early operators of the saberlets-equipped Superjets.
The company hopes the arrival of the Russian-made aircraft in its fleet renewal programme will stimulate passenger traffic growth. The airline currently operates six 50-seat Bombardier CRJ200s and one 32-seat Yakovlev Yak-40.
Severstal Airlines, a subsidiary of steel and mining giant Severstal, which is majority-owned and controlled by Russian tycoon Alexey Mordashov, performs domestic and international scheduled and charter flights across Russia, the CIS countries and Europe.