SuperJet International (SJI), an Italian aviation company based in Venice, will continue its activities with a new UAE shareholder.
Mark AB Capital Investments (Mark AB), based in the United Arab Emirates, and the Russian United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), have in fact signed an agreement which provides for the sale by UAC to Mark AB of its entire 49% stake of SJI shares, and therefore its entire participation in the Superjet 100 project. With the perfection of this agreement, UAC shall effectively exit the Superjet Program.
The acquisition by Mark AB of the shares in SJI will be possible only after receipt of the necessary approvals from the Italian and Russian governmental bodies (i.e. Financial Security Committee). Only these authorizations will permit for the unfreezing of SJI's shares and assets.
Following receipt of such authorizations, the new shareholding structure of SJI will be comprised of: Mark AB Capital (49%), Studio Guidotti International (41%), Leonardo (10%).
"This agreement - declares the CEO of SuperJet International, Camillo Perfido - has a great value for our company, as the interruption of industrial and commercial relations with UAC will allow the company to no longer be burdened by the limitations resulting from the sanctioning regulations set by the European Union. SJI will once again demonstrate the excellent technical skills of its employees, who have managed to face a difficult period with integrity and a sense of responsibility".
The entry of the new shareholder, and the unfreezing of SJI's shares and assets, represent mandatory prerequisites, without which the Relaunch Plan cannot be implemented.
This Relaunch Plan was drawn up together by SJI and Mark Capital AB, and envisions investments of € 190 million, of which €110 million at the Venice site. Such investment will make it possible to support the development of new aircraft configurations, the construction of the new SJI branch in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as well as the continuous development of the aircraft to address market competition.
To support both industrial and commercial activities, the new corporate organization provides for a progressive increase in the work force, with particular reference to specialists, which, at the stabilization phase, will reach 400 units in Venice, and 800 in total, when including the new UAE branch. In Venice there are presently approximately 110 employees, down from 250 resources in prior years, firstly due to the pandemic, but mainly due to the effect of the sanctions.
Sales forecasts are estimated to be 240 aircraft at a minimum, in different versions: passenger, business jet and cargo, most of which will be destined for the UAE and Indian markets.
From an industrial point of view, the program will be based at the Venice site, and at the new branch in the UAE.
The Venice headquarters will manage the program’s direction, responsible for the management of the product, and the related ENAC/EASA certifications. SJI’s Venice site shall become both the Design Organization Authority - DOA, for the "Type" certification of the aircraft, and therefore with the capability to carry out the development of new aircraft configurations (business jet and cargo), and the Production Organization Authority - POA, with complete control of the entire Supply Chain. The Venice site shall also retain responsibility for marketing and sales activities, installation of aircraft options, pilot and crew training, final flight tests, deliveries, and customer support.
SJI shall establish its new branch in the UAE at the Al Ain international airport, and shall be the production plant of the Superjet 100 in its basic green version; the green aircraft will then transfer to Venice for its completion, and the activities for which the Venice site is responsible.
This agreement could also represent an important opportunity for the national aeronautical industry, considering that the UAE does not yet have a sufficiently mature industrial complex covering the various aeronautic disciplines. Therefore, in an initial phase, it will be possible to make use of the available national aeronautical subcontractor base, with particular reference to the production of engine parts and aero structures, as well as engineering support for the nascent UAE aeronautical industry.