Thai startup Kom Airlines has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for six Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ100) aircraft. The airline hopes to finalize the deal in 2019. A deal could include maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services from Sukhoi.
Kom will likely configure its Superjet 100s with 100 Economy Class seats. Kom will use the planes for both domestic and international routes.
Denis Manturov, Russia’s Minister of Industry and Trade, signed the deal on Thursday while visiting Thailand.
If the order is solidified in the first half of 2019, deliveries will start by the end of the year.
Sukhoi has also signed an agreement with Thai MRO provider WishV to perform maintenance on SSJ planes. WishV must be approved to operate an SSJ100 maintenance station in Thailand. Should approval be granted, operations will likely occur at U-Tapao Rayong-Pattaya International Airport, a joint military-civil airport at Royal Thai Navy’s Sattahip Naval Base. WishV currently operates on Embraer, boeing, Cessna, Dassault, Bell Helicopter, and Bombardier aircraft, according to Russian Aviation Insider.
Kom may be the first commercial operator of the SSJ100 in Thailand. Three SSJ100s in VIP configurations have been in service with the Thai Air Force since 2016. Those planes operate for high-ranking government and military officials.
In 2010, Orient Thai Airlines expressed interest in at least 12 SSJ100s, but the deal was never finalized.
In addition to its deal with Kom, Sukhoi has confirmed that Severstal Aircompany has taken its first SSJ100. That airline is based in Russia. In addition to domestic flights, Severstal flies to Finland and Georgia.
Sukhoi plans to deliver 28 SSJ100s in 2019, up from 26 in 2018. By 2025, Sukhoi plans to deliver 35 aircraft per year.
Featured image by SuperJet International