Sukhoi BizJet Lands Launch Customer, Comlux

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SuperJet Worldwide announced Sunday at the NBAA convention in Las Vegas that Comlux will be the launch customer for the $50 million Sukhoi Business Jet (SBJ), a version of the 100-seat Sukhoi Superjet 100. Comlux has ordered two of the fly-by-wire jets to be delivered in 2014, with options for two more. The SBJ can be built as an eight-passenger VIP transport with a 4,250-nm range. It is powered two SaM146 engines produced by Powerjet, a joint venture between Snecma and Russia's NPO Saturn. Comlux believes the jet will fill a niche between the Boeing Business Jet and Embraer Lineage 1000, a variant of the Embraer 190 regional jet. Comlux is also projecting a bullish sales outlook for the jet.

Over a 20-year span starting in 2015, Comlux believes the market may seek between 150 and 200 SBJs. The aircraft's cabin is 3.24 meters wide, 2.12 meters high, and 20.42 meters long, making it significantly larger than the Lineage 1000, but close to the Boeing Business Jet. The entire market for business jets of similar size has generally held below 20 per year. Comlux CEO Richard Goana said his company is working as a partner with SuperJet and he believed that 200 aircraft over 20 years was "feasible." Goana said Comlux plans to charter, demo and market the aircraft, and may eventually order to 10 of the jets. Support infrastructure for the jet will be managed by SuperJet, including facilities in Moscow and Venice. Company representative Carlo Logli said SuperJet may establish a U.S. hub at Ft. Lauderdale to cater to U.S. customers.