EgyptAir and Russia to resume SSJ-100 negotiations

EgyptAir and Russia will resume talks regarding the potential sale of SSJ 100/95 aircraft, Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov said after meeting with Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, reports ch-aviation.

"I thanked Mr. el-Sisi for the fact that they recognised the SSJ-100 certificate. We will certainly resume the negotiation process. We have identified not only the SSJ but also the MC-21-300. The negotiation process for the aircraft always takes time, but I have the confidence that we will find an interesting solution," Manturov explained, quoted by Interfax.

The Egyptian flag carrier has been in talks with Sukhoi Civil Aircraft since 2015. Initially, the contract was supposed to cover twelve firm orders and twelve options. However, the deal was not signed before a terrorist attack downed a MetroJet (Russia) A321 in October 2015. This event lead to a decline in diplomatic and tourism relations between Russia and Egypt and led to a suspension of direct commercial air traffic. Russian investigators concluded that the aircraft, flying from Sharm el Sheikh to St. Petersburg, had been brought down by an onboard explosive device. The disaster killed all 224 passengers and crew, nearly all of them Russian citizens.

In February 2016, Manturov told Rossiya 24 that he was negotiating a deal for up to forty SSJ-100s with EgyptAir. In October of that year, the Russian regional jet's type-certificate was recognised by the Egyptian authorities.

Russia and Egypt may also resume direct air traffic in spring 2018, Russian president Vladimir Putin told reporters following the meeting with el-Sisi. Minister of Transport Maxim Sokolov added that it could happen as early as February 2018.