Sources who are close to the matter claim that the Norwegian low-cost carrier has already signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in exchange for the rights to use trans-Siberian routes.
According to the Russian TV channel RBC, Sukhoi Commercial aircraft will initially deliver ten SSJ100 Superjets to Norwegian Air Argentina, the South American subsidiary of the Nordic carrier. Another 30 aircraft will then join the parent company’s fleet. In exchange for leasing 40 SSJ100, Norwegian is expected to have the right to use the trans-Siberian corridor.
This news comes on the heels of Air Serbia in talks with Sukhoi for the acquisition of the aircraft, along with expressing interest in the upcoming MC-21
This is great news for an aircraft that has had limited success outside of Russia, mostly being in service with former Soviet countries. There are issues with the manufacturing pipeline stemming from the availability of spare parts and issues with the join Russo-french SaM146 engines, and for Sukhoi to keep a customer like this is very important for them, so I’m sure they will prioritize eliminating these issues, in fact we are already seeing attempts to do that with a smaller version of the PD-14 being developed for use on this aircraft. Good luck Sukhoi!