Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation is using the Dubai Airshow to announce a long-range version of its Sukhoi Business Jet, a VIP variant of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 regional aircraft. The aircraft on show at the static display is operated by the Russian business aviation operator RusJet. It can carry 18 passengers in a three-section VIP cabin and has a range of up to 4,420 km.

But SBJ customers can now enjoy much longer flights. UAC president Yury Slyusar confirmed to ShowNews that the Russian authorities certified additional fuel tanks for the SBJ this summer that can carry  3,100 kg of additional fuel.“Their installation will allow the customers to use SBJ for flights up to 6,000 km,” he said.

Out of about 120 SSJ 100s in operation, nine aircraft are in VIP configuration. They are used in Russia, Kazakhstan and Thailand.

Slyusar said that the Middle East is one of the priority markets for the promotion of the SSJ100 business jet variants. “We see the demand for 10-12 SBJ aircraft in the next five years all over the world and expect to sell some of these aircraft in particular to the customers from the Middle East,” he said.

The demand for the regional jets with capacity from 60 to140 seats is estimated by UAC at about 300 aircraft over the next 20 years, including from Iranian carriers that need to renew their fleets.Russia has nothing to offer Iran in mid- and long-range segments, but hopes to catch up with the regional aircraft.

“We plan to compete for this demand,” he said.