Ilyushin Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Belgian carrier VLM Airline signed an LOI for two SSJ100s with options for additional two plus ten aircraft.
“The LoI signed by VLM represents an interesting achievement in a very competitive market like Europe – states Nazario Cauceglia, CEO of SuperJet International – This confirms that the SSJ100 is the best choice, what exactly the regional market needs today. It is certainly the most optimized aircraft in the 100-seat market in terms of total operational costs and of ownership costs compared to its direct competitors. This important transaction is also the result of an attractive financial offer. We are pleased to provide our customers with exceptional financial packages that can be converted into operating lease-agreements. Financing is a key aspect and I am sure this approach will pave the way of the SSJ100 towards the success”.
This order may seem small, and like the Interjet order before, it deserves attention. VLM is a Fokker 50 operator. An independent airline, it offers ACMI & Charter services, and plans to offer scheduled services in the near future. It has a fleet of 12 Fokker 50s. The SSJ seats 100 and if the order is executed to it scope, the airline will have a fleet of 14 SSJs, essentially more than doubling its capacity.
As a charter airline it has to operate on the tightest of margins. One of its key bases is London City – an airport requiring special performance. For VLM to make a decision to grow its business based on the SSJ is worth noting. Clearly IFC must have made a very good offer. Exposure around the EU can only help both SSJ and IFC. Small as this order may be, it is potentially bigger news than it appears.