Delay expected in delivery of first Russian Superjets

Delays are expected in deliveries of the first Superjets, a regional jet that Russia is banking on to restore the country's aircraft competitiveness, the director of Russia's airplane-building conglomerate was quoted as saying Monday. The first Superjets were to be delivered to Aeroflot at the end of this year. But Russian news agencies quoted United Aircraft Corp. director Alexei Fyodorov as saying there have been delays in conducting test flights. "We had plans to conduct the first flight at the end of last year, but ran into an array of difficulties," Fyodorov said, according to the state-run news agency RIA-Novosti. "We can't say when they will be delivered to Aeroflot." The Superjet, the first new Russian commercial airplane since the Soviet Union's collapse, seats 75 to 95 people and has a range of about 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles).