SOCHI, October 28. /TASS/. The contract for the supply of a SSJ 100 aircraft in the VIP version to Zambia has been suspended because the country does not have enough funds to finance the contract, Russia’s Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov told TASS as part of the Russia-Africa Forum.
"We take into account the experience of working with the Mexican market, where we delivered more than 20 aircraft. In addition to changes in the economy of the region, which affected the operation of the delivered aircraft, some maintenance issues were not completely resolved, there were certain malfunctions in this part. In Africa, for example, we signed a contract for the supply of a VIP version of the SSJ 100 to Zambia. But in Zambia, besides the advance payment, there were no funds to finance this aircraft, so the contract has been frozen,"Manturov said.
According to him, Russia will continue to search for potential customers in Africa, but such deliveries will become profitable only if these are bulk deliveries, not one-time shipments.
"We will continue to intensively promote our aircraft. We are thinking about forming a pool [of customers — TASS], it concerns at least 20 airliners, so that we can sign firm contracts, have obligations, and provide quality service," the minister said.
"It’s important for us today to form a certain pool [of customers in one region — TASS]. If we form this pool, then this will be a profitable business. At least that means that the SSJ 100 will be operated and serviced on time," the minister said.
In September of 2018, Manturov told reporters that Russia and Zambia had signed a contract for the supply of a single SSJ 100 aircraft (in its VIP version). At that time, the parties also discussed the supply of four more SSJ 100s.