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US leasing company orders six Superjet 100: Finmeccanica

US aircraft leasing corporation Willis Lease has made a final order for six jets built by Russia’s Sukhoi and Italy’s Alenia Aeronautica, Alenia’s parent company Finmeccanica said on Thursday.

The purchase of the six Superjet 100, along with four others for which the order is not final, will be worth up to 300 million dollars (224 million euros), Finmeccanica said in a statement.

The delivery of thejets is scheduled for September 2012.

The jet, which has 98 seats, was developed to compete with Brazil’s Embraer and Canada’s Bombardier on the regional air transportation market.

The aircraft is considered a great hope for Russian aviation, which has been in decline since the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.

Alenia owns 25 percent plus one share of Sukhoi Civil Aircraft, the Sukhoi unit developing the jet, as well as 51 percent of Superjet Internantional, which is handling sales of the aircraft.

The remainder of Superjet International is controlled by Sukhoi.