MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s main airliner, the Sukhoi Superjet 100, will be used by the United Nations for its peacekeeping missions after a contract was signed last month, according to Rosaviatsiya, the federal government agency. air transport from Russia.
The aircraft, which entered service in 2011 and was the first passenger jet built in Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union, has had a checkered history despite the state’s billion-dollar investment in its development. Last year, a Superjet crashed in Moscow, killing 41 people.
UN peacekeeping spokesperson Nick Birnback said: âWe are currently finalizing several contracts for short-term emergency airlift services that could be used in support of our operations on the ground. field, including peacekeeping. “
Earlier this year, two sources told Reuters there had been no confirmed orders for the Sukhoi Superjet 100 beyond a long-standing deal with the national airline Aeroflot.
“In March 2020, the first UN contract was received for the use of Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft to provide services to UN peacekeeping missions,” Rosaviatsiya said in a statement.
The deal was struck by Russian regional airline Yakutia Airlines, a representative from Rosaviatsiya told Reuters.
Yakutia Airlines, based in the Siberian city of Yakutsk, about 4,880 km (3,030 miles) east of Moscow, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.
Russian helicopters, supplied by UTair, are already in use by the United Nations.
Asked about the Superjet contract, a spokesperson for the United Nations said it uses a number of different suppliers for its aviation needs. “Many of these contracts are for standby capacity which may or may not be required depending on operational considerations,” the spokesperson said.
Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov in Moscow with additional reporting by Michelle Nichols in New York; Writing by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Jane Merriman / Mark Heinrich