ZHUKOVSKY, Russia, July 7 (Reuters) - Russian plane maker Sukhoi expects to make the first deliveries of its Superjet 100 aircraft no earlier than the third quarter of 2009, a source close to Sukhoi told Reuters on Monday.
“The certification testing of the plane is expected to finish in the third quarter of 2009. We will begin deliveries after that,” the source said. Russia’s flagship airline Aeroflot (AFLT.MM) had expected delivery of 30 planes this year.
The Superjet’s first flight, initially planned for 2007, was delayed by several months, and the aircraft took off for the first time in May.
Aeroflot has already said it would fill the temporary gap in its fleet by signing short-term leases on other planes until its Superjets are delivered.
The aircraft, designed to replace ageing Tupolev-134 and Yakovlev-42 planes on routes between Russia’s regional cities, is a joint creation of the civil aviation unit of Russia’s state aviation corporation and U.S. plane maker Boeing (BA.N). (Reporting by Alexander Gelogaev; Editing by Quentin Bryar)