CityJet (WX, Dublin Int'l) is in talks with Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (Zhukovsky) over the possible acquisition of five SSJ 100/95s the RIA news agency has reported quoting sources in the Russian Ministry of Trade and Industry. Last week, Minister for Industry and Trade, Denis Manturov, told reporters in Sochi that the Superjet's western European launch operator would be a "British airline."

Cityjet is in the process of selecting a suitable replacement for its ageing ARJ-85s fleet with founder and executive chairman Pat Byrne alluding to Embraer (EMB, São José dos Campos) and Sukhoi as the top contenders.

Should the talks indeed lead to a firm agreement, the Irish carrier would become the type's British Isles launch customer. Cityjet has specified the new aircraft must be capable of handling London City's demanding landing and takeoff constraints.

Former sister carrier VLM (1992) (VG, Antwerp) signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Moscow-based aircraft lessor Ilyushin Finance Co. (IFC) in October last year for the lease of two SSJ100-95LRs with options for two more of the type in addition to purchase rights for ten aircraft.

However, citing delays in the aircraft's type certification, the Belgian carrier later deferred delivery of its first Superjet from April of this year to an unspecified date during the third quarter of 2016.