Mexican low-cost carrier Interjet is falling out of love with the Sukhoi Superjet 100. The Russian-made jet has started to cost the carrier a fair bit and, as a result, the carrier is now looking to move on.
Interjet looks to move beyond the SSJ100
At one point, Interjet flew 22 Sukhoi Superjets. However, after the fatal Sukhoi Superjet 100 crash in Moscow earlier this year, Interjet on Twitter (in Spanish) confirmed that the airline only had five of the model in active service.
— Interjet (@interjet) May 5, 2019
Five out of 22 is a pretty dismal percentage. And, very clearly, it indicates that the airline is looking to get rid of these aircraft rather than keep them. Maintenance issues plagued the fleet, which made it difficult for Interjet to operate the type.
As the only North American operator for the SSJ100, the bleak outlook for the aircraft in Interjet’s fleet does not bode well for the aircraft’s future sales in the continent. Moreover, Russian aircraft have not traditionally performed well in sales in North America in the last few years.
The A320 family
Interjet also flies Airbus A320 family aircraft. This includes both A320ceo and A321ceo alongside A320neo and A321neo aircraft. The latest Airbus orders and deliveries report from October 2019 indicates that Interjet has 29 A320neo aircraft on order.
These aircraft could be used to replace the SSJ100s, however, the A320 family would be a significant capacity upgrade in comparison to the Russian jets. Although, the A320 family has a much better operational record than the SSJ100.
Could Interjet use A220s to replace the SSJ100?
Earlier this year, it appeared that Interjet was looking at the A220 to replace the SSJ100 in the airline’s fleet. The A220 would be much closer to the capacity of the SSJ100.
However, Interjet has not placed an order either with Airbus or through a lessor for A220 aircraft. For now, it appears that the airline is only operating a small number of SSJ100s with no clear replacement strategy.
Interjet has fallen out of love with the Sukhoi Superjet. As of now, the airline does not have a clear replacement strategy, but the A220 may be on the airline’s radar. With maintenance issues and no clear resolution, the Superjet is doing little else except raising costs for the carrier.
Should Interjet retire the SSJ100? Should Interjet then order the A220? Let us know in the comments!
Simple Flying reached out to Interjet for comment. However, no response was received in time for publication.