Norwegian Considering Large Sukhoi Superjet Order

Norwegian Airlines is reportedly considering an order for the SSJ100 according to some publications. The airline currently operates an all Boeing fleet consisting of 737 aircraft in addition to the Boeing 787.

Norwegian, Sukhoi, SJ100
Norwegian Airlines is in discussions with Sukhoi, manufacturers of the SSJ100. Photo: Norwegian

Norwegian hasn’t had the best year in terms of its fleet. Earlier this year, the airline was forced to ground its fleet of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft along with the rest of the global community. However, this grounding comes as the airline has also been experiencing issues with its Trent 1000 equipped Boeing 787 aircraft. As such, the airline has been forced to wet-lease capacity several times.

Could Norwegian be interested in the SSJ100?

There have been a number of interesting reports swirling around the internet this past week. Some have claimed that Norwegian could be approaching the Russian manufacturer Sukhoi.

One such report suggested that the airline had reported that the airline had “concluded a memorandum with the Norwegian low-cost airline Norwegian Air Shuttle on the supply of 40 Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ100) aircraft with the ability to fly the Trans-Siberian route, which the carrier has been pursuing for several years.”

Norwegian, Sukhoi, SJ100
Norwegian could use the aircraft for its Argentinian subsidiary. Photo: Norwegian

A Norwegian spokesperson confirmed that the airline had held discussions with Sukhoi, however, no agreements had been made. They told Simple Flying:

“We can confirm that have had meetings with Russian authorities and aircraft manufacturer Sukhoi, but we have not entered into any binding agreements.”

About the SSJ100

The Sukhoi SSJ100 is a regional jet designed to carry 98 passengers. According to the manufacturer, the aircraft can cover a range of 1,645 nautical miles. Meanwhile, an extended range edition can stretch to 2,470 nautical miles.

The largest operator of the SSJ100 is the Russian flag carrier, Aeroflot. The airline had a fleet of 50 of the aircraft, with a further 100 on order. However, one of these aircraft was written off in a fatal accident earlier this year. The aircraft had returned to Moscow following a fault, however, burst into flames after bouncing down the runway. 41 out of 78 people on board the aircraft lost their lives.

Norwegian, Sukhoi, SJ100
The SSJ100 seats around 100 passengers. Photo: Katsuhiko Tokunaga/SuperJet International via Wikimedia

What could the aircraft mean for Norwegian?

The aircraft would potentially allow for Norwegian to start to operate more regional routes given its smaller size. This could allow the airline to operate smaller routes either in Scandinavia or for its Argentinian subsidiary.

The airline commenced domestic operations in Argentina around a year ago and is currently using the Boeing 737 on its routes. This includes the route to the end of the world. The airline could potentially be eyeing some routes in this part of the world with demand, but less traffic.

Would you fly on a Norwegian Sukhoi SJ100? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!