Wednesday, July 21, 2010

AIRSHOW-UPDATE 1-Sukhoi gets Superjet order from Thailand

Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:57am EDT

* Announces new order for 12 planes from Thai Orient

* Has a firm backlog of 131 orders for the Superjet 100

* Reiterates latest target of year-end delivery

(Adds detail of new order)

FARNBOROUGH/MOSCOW July 20 (Reuters) - Sukhoi (UNAC.RTS) said it had won an order for 12 Superjet 100 planes, while its chief executive said the Russian planemaker was on track to deliver its first jet to customers by the end of this year.

The Superjet 100 will be the first passenger plane built by Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union, and will attempt to challenge market leaders Airbus (EAD.PA) and Boeing (BA.N) in the regional carrier sector.

Sukhoi, which is making the planes with Italian group Finmeccanica (SIFI.MI), said on its web site on Tuesday it would sell 12 of the regional planes to privately owned Orient Thai Airlines with an option for 12 more.

It did not give detail on price, but on Monday the company announced a 30-plane deal with Indonesian group Kartika for $951 million. [ID:nLDE66I071]

Sukhoi chief executive Mikhail Pogosyan told reporters at the Farnborough Airshow the company had a firm backlog of 131 domestic and international orders for the Superjet 100 and that 70 percent of testing was complete.

He reiterated an earlier target to make first deliveries to customers by the end of 2010. The project has been hit by a string of delays since the plane's maiden flight in 2008.

Sukhoi is the part of state-controlled United Aviation Corp (UAC) (UNAC.RTS), more famous for military aircraft, but Pogosyan said the Superjet programme was of similar importance to the construction of fighter jets.

Sukhoi said the order with Orient Thai Airlines, which has 15 planes, would be delivered from 2011-14. (Reporting by Ben Berkowitz and John Bowker; Editing by Dmitry Sergeyev and Dan Lalor)

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