Armenia takes delivery of first new Russian jet
Armenia on Tuesday took delivery of the first new Superjet 100 plane manufactured by Russian firm Sukhoi after production problems caused a delay of more than two years.
The first plane, named after pioneering Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, was handed over to Armenia's Armavia carrier at a ceremony at Zvartnots airport in Yerevan.
"We believe that this is a great landmark in Russian aircraft-building as this is the first mass-produced aeroplane manufactured in contemporary Russia with the assistance of world leaders in aircraft manufacture," the owner of Armavia, Mikhail Bagdasarov, told reporters at the ceremony.
Russia hopes that despite the production delays, the Superjet can revive the country's civil aviation industry, which has fallen behind international competitors like Boeing and Airbus.
Russian flag carrier Aeroflot is still awaiting delivery of the first of a batch of 40 Superjets and has considered seeking compensation because of the delay.
The jet, which has 98 seats, was developed to compete with Brazil's Embraer and Canada's Bombardier on the regional air transport market.
© 2011 AFP