Armavia deals latest blow to Sukhoi Superjet 100

Armavia deals latest blow to Sukhoi Superjet 100

Armenian airline Armavia has confirmed it will return a Sukhoi Superjet 100 as the aircraft continues to be blighted by safety concerns.

The move is a major blow for the Russian aircraft manufacturer, which is still working to overcome a deadly plane crash earlier this year.

Originally delivered in April 2011, Armavia used the aircraft for services to Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Sochi.

An Armavia spokeswoman told the Arka and RIA Novosti news agencies on Monday the airline has decided to return the aircraft because it was below the previously declared standards and also required repairs.

“We consider it inappropriate to purchase a plane which requires repairs during its first year in service,” she explained.

Armavia was the launch customer for the Sukhoi Superjet 100.

The midrange aircraft is the first civil aircraft to be built by a Russian manufacturer since the fall of the Soviet Union.

Armavia was also scheduled to receive a second Superjet 100 last year.

However, the process was dragged out until June of this year when the airline said it will not buy the second aircraft and instead opt to purchase a Western aircraft.

Both planes are currently at a Sukhoi flight test facility near Moscow, where the first Armavia aircraft was undergoing regularly scheduled maintenance.

The dispute complicates the sales of the Superjet 100 follow a series of incidents following its commercial launch.

The most recent occurred last week, when a Superjet flown by Aeroflot made an emergency landing at Sheremetyevo Airport at the end of a Kazan-Moscow flight after the cabin partly depressurised.