Indonesia approves Russian-made Sukhoi jets despite crash
JAKARTA (AFP) - Indonesia has certified Russian-made Sukhoi civilian jets as airworthy, allowing the export of the planes to the booming aviation market despite a pending probe into a crash that killed all 45 onboard.
A Sukhoi Superjet 100 slammed into the 2,200-metre Mount Salak volcano in western Java on May 9 during an exhibition flight to showcase the jet in Indonesia, where the aviation industry is rapidly expanding.
"We gave Sukhoi certification on Tuesday that validates the aircraft as airworthy," transport ministry spokesman Bambang Ervan told AFP on Wednesday.
"We looked at the aircraft's build, design and engine and found it met both international and Indonesian standards." The approval allows the sale of the jet in Indonesia, Ervan said, where local carriers Kartika Airlines and Sky Aviation have orders for 30 and 12 aircraft respectively, with each jet priced at around $30 million.