State airline Aeroflot has bought 20 new Sukhoi Superjet 100s — the Russian aviation industry's flagship commercial airliner — to facilitate growth in the company's domestic traffic, Aeroflot said in a statement on Thursday.
The agreement is a follow-on to an existing contract for the delivery of 30 Superjets, and will give Aeroflot a 50-strong Superjet fleet by 2017, the statement said.
Aeroflot operates what it claims to be the youngest fleet of any major airline in the world, with 150 planes built by Airbus, Boeing and Sukhoi in service already.
The Superjet, a short- and medium-haul airliner designed in partnership with Western aerospace firms, is the first new civilian airliner designed in Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union and was meant to revive Russia's aviation industry as a global market player. But sales have so far been slow, and Aeroflot remains the aircraft's single biggest buyer.
Aeroflot's passenger numbers are rising rapidly, with the company recording 23.6 percent year-on-year growth on domestic flights in November.