Bloomberg agency and Flightglobal resource reported that Mexican airline Interjet "landed" four of its 22 SSJ100 aircraft and uses their components to replace spare parts on the remaining 18 flying SSJ100. In aviation this is called the cannibalization of the fleet. Interjet is going to this because of problems with the delivery of spare parts for SSJ100, according to the publication.
SSJ100 - the first Russian civil aircraft, accommodating in the basic version of 93-102 passengers, its deliveries to airlines began in 2011, at the end of 2017, 156 aircraft were produced. Interjet is the second largest operator of this type, most of them in the park at Aeroflot - 35. The manufacturer is the company Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (GSS), which is part of the state holding United Aircraft Corporation (UAC).
Three SSJ100 Mexican airlines do not fly from May 14, July 18 and August 21, 2017, respectively, according to Bloomberg and Flightglobal. The fourth one was damaged in October 2015 when towed at the airport and should be restored, the "Air Transport Review" specifies.
Interjet's CEO Jose Luis Garza told Bloomberg that there are problems with the maintenance of the SSJ100. Shortages and long terms of delivery of spare parts managers of Russian airlines and people close to the UAC, more than once called the main problem of the program SSJ100. This is the main reason that the flight of these ships remains extremely low - 3-3.7 hours a day in 2016 from all Russian airlines. Aircraft of foreign production flew 9 hours a day on average.
Red Wings in 2015 managed to reach a strike on its five SSJ100 9 hours a day. One of the aircraft was constantly standing in the hangar and was the donor of spare parts for the others in case of breakdowns, this allowed to avoid downtime while the parts ordered by the manufacturer were being sent, a man close to Red Wings said. Such "cannibalization" is not prohibited by technical regulations, but it is undesirable, the large financially stable airlines do not practice it. In 2016, the GSS took all five SSJ100 from the Red Wings for debts on leasing payments and supplied them to other airlines.
The GSS is not aware of whether aggregates and equipment are being removed from aircraft that are under repair or maintenance for use on other SSJ100 aircrafts in the Interjet fleet, says the GSS representative. But this is normal practice, when individual aircraft in the carrier's park are taken out of service for repair or scheduled maintenance, the interlocutor continues. To shorten the SSJ100's stay in the repair, the GSS continues to automate the warehouse inventory system and integrate it with the after-sales support portal for operators, he adds.
"Even the heaviest form of maintenance, the D-check, which must be performed for the first time after six years of operation, lasts two months," says the top maintenance manager for the Russian airline. For SSJ100 the forms can last a little longer, since the procedures are still unfinished, says his colleague from another airline. But SSJ100 Mexicans did not have to come to the D-check - they were delivered in 2013-2015.
"Adjusting the supply of spare parts takes time, but we are close to the goal: this year we are investing $ 7 million in a spare parts warehouse for SSJ100", the Interjet CEO quotes The Washington Post. The publication reminds that in both Americas the GSS does not have a single center for maintenance support for the SSJ100, for Airbus (Interjet in park 58 Airbus) there are three of them. True, the Mexican airline is the only SSJ100 operator in this part of the world.
In 2018, the GSS plans to produce 25 aircraft and put 28 - taking into account the rolling cars, said a man close to the UAC.