Rare: Who Is Flying The Sukhoi Superjet 100?

The Sukhoi Superjet 100-95 (SSJ100) took off commercially with Armavia 10 years ago in 2011. Despite reported maintenance and reliability problems and a lack of aftercare support, the aircraft – which uses many Western components – is still heavily used within and from Russia.

Aeroflot SSJ100
Aeroflot transferred many SSJ100s to subsidiary Rossiya to operate them on its behalf. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Wikimedia.

The SSJ100

Holding up to 108 passengers in a high-density economy class layout, the SSJ100 exists in the same or similar market space as the Antonov 158, Embraer 190, CRJ-1000, and A220-100.

It is a replacement for the Tupelov 134 and Yak-42 in Russia. Additionally, it could theoretically also replace Western regional jets such as the Fokker 100 and Avros, especially with very keen pricing. However, this would be undermined by the lack of maintenance support and reliability constraints. As a result, in an airline sense, it will remain extremely focused on its Russian motherland.

Azimuth SSJ100
What a shot! Azimuth is one of nine airlines using the SSJ100 this winter. Photo: Dmitry Terekhov via Flickr.

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Which airlines are operating the SSJ100?

This winter, nine Russian airlines are operating the SSJ100 on a scheduled basis. According to ch-aviation.com, they collectively have 131 examples of the aircraft, including those active, inactive, stored, and in maintenance.

These nine airlines have around 3.50 million round-trip seats fully to, from, and within the country, based on examining schedules supplied to data experts OAG. This is down by 37% versus summer 2021. Despite many aircraft, they are not being used intensively.

  1. Rossiya (operating for Aeroflot): approximately 1.48 million round-trip seats this winter
  2. Azimuth: 949,000
  3. Red Wings: 473,000
  4. Yamal Airlines: 164,000
  5. IrAero: 152,000
  6. Aeroflot (itself): 151,000
  7. Severstal Aircompany: 120,000
  8. Yakutia: 92,000 (plus another 13,000 operating for Aurora)
  9. Gazpromavia: 22,0003,50
IrAero SSJ
IrAero uses its SSJ100s across Russia. The 2,277-mile (3,664km) link from Moscow Domodedovo to Kyzyl is its longest route; it operates overnight to Kyzyl, near the Mongolian border. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Flickr.

Almost are seats are within Russia

This winter, approximately 96% of the SSJ’s seats are deployed domestically in Russia. This is an increase from 82% in winter 2019 and 94% in summer 2021, OAG data reveals, unhelped by the pandemic and its consequences in Russia. Domestic markets become more important as coronavirus advances.

Moscow Sheremetyevo is by far the leading airport to see the SSJ100 this winter. The reason is Aeroflot. This carrier – and Rossiya which operates on its behalf with Aeroflot’s SU IATA code – collectively has over four in ten (42%) of the SSJ100’s seats. They are primarily operated from its Sheremetyevo hub.

SSJ100s in the air
These SSJ100s are in the air as the article is written. Highlighted is Red Wings from Makhachkala to Chelyabinsk. Image: Flightradar24.com.

International SSJ100 flights

Only 127,000 seats are to be deployed internationally this winter, with Sheremetyevo to Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital, having the most seats. When writing this article, SU6527 is en route to Sofia using RA-89130, an SSJ100 delivered to Rossiya in late 2020.

Other important international routes include Azimuth’s Rostov-on-Don to Istanbul and Yerevan and Krasnodar to Minsk and Yerevan.

A few years ago, the author flew an Aeroflot SSJ100 from Oslo to Sheremetyevo. Despite being just 1,000 miles (it was exactly 1,000 miles according to GCMap!), it departed shortly before midnight and arrived in Russia around 04:30 local time because of the time difference. The author then connected to an Aeroflot Ilyushin 96 bound for Istanbul.

Have you flown the SSJ100? If so, share your experiences with us in the comments.