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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Italian Airline Orders 10 Superjets

Itar-TassA model of the Superjet 100 in Sukhoi's stand at this week's Paris Air Show.
Regional Italian carrier ItAli Airlines placed an order for 10 of Sukhoi's Superjet 100 aircraft, Sukhoi officials said Tuesday

The carrier, which will pay $283 million in a deal that gives them an option on a further 10 aircraft, will be the first foreign firm to buy the regional jets.

Also Tuesday, Finmeccanica subsidiary Alenia Aeronautica signed a deal at the Paris Air Show to take a stake of 25 percent plus one share in aircraft maker Sukhoi Civil Aircraft for $250 million.

Rome-based Alenia and Sukhoi also agreed to set up a joint venture in Italy by July 15 to promote the jet in "European and American markets through marketing and sales," the companies said in a joint statement. Alenia will hold 51 percent of the venture.

The widely expected deal to take the stake also includes support for the Superjet program, a spokesman for Finmeccanica said.

Alenia Aeronautica, an aircraft component and aero structure manufacturer, said the deal with Sukhoi would allow it to tap into growing demand for regional transport routes with small jets that can carry upward of 100 passengers.

"The joint venture company is targeted to transfer strategic partnership into a business synergy to promote the Superjet 100 success on European and [U.S.] markets through marketing and sales, final customization for western customers and delivery center, as well as worldwide after sales support and services," the companies said in their statement.

The Superjet deal with ItAli, based in Italy, was the first Sukhoi has made with a Western airline, the companies said.

The Sukhoi Superjet family, which seats from 75 to 95 passengers, depending on the configuration, is part of Sukhoi Civil Aircraft, operated by the military fighter aircraft maker of the same name. Sukhoi and the government are spending $1.6 billion to develop the planes and expect to sell more than 1,000 of them by 2024, mostly outside of Russia. The aircraft is the centerpiece of a drive to revive the country's aviation industry and is scheduled to enter service in 2008 with Aeroflot, which has now ordered 45 of the jets.

The Superjet will compete against models from Brazil's Embraer-Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica and Montreal-based Bombardier, the only current makers of jet airliners with fewer than 100 seats. Sukhoi is part of Unified Aircraft Corporation, a state-controlled company that combines the country's aerospace manufacturers and designers.

Bloomberg, Reuters, MT