A Mexican Airline And A Russian Plane Maker Have Made Low-Cost Flying Comfortable

Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ100) Interjet Paris Air ShowInterjet’s new SSJ100 jets offer a ton of leg room.

Low-cost air travel is hardly synonymous with comfort, but a young Mexican airline is teaming up with a Russian manufacturer to bring the two together.

At the Paris Air Show in June, low cost carrier Interjet took delivery of the first of 20 new SuperJet SSJ110s, built by Russia’s Sukhoi.

The 100-seat planes are a logical fit for Interjet, which operates relatively short, regional flights. It’s the first Western airline to operate them.

We stepped on board the new jet in Paris, and were rather impressed: It feels clean and comfortable — not the first things that come to mind when flying from Miami to Mexico City for under $300.

The interior is the work of Italian design firm Pininfarina, and puts a great face on a jet with a troubled history. Last year, 45 people died when one of the jets crashed in Indonesia. Investigators blamed the crash on pilot error, according to Reuters.

The outside of the jet is painted in different shades of blue.

The colours are the same inside.

It's not quite fancy enough to give each seat a personal screen, so passengers will have to make do with those built into the ceiling.

There's nothing special here.

But entertainment isn't the sales pitch; leg room is. The Pininfarina SSJ100 offers 34 inches of space between seats. For economy, that's huge — and better than almost all the competition.

The seats themselves are a bit hard, but this is a plane built for regional flights. Most passengers will be so happy about the leg room, they won't mind a slightly sore rear.

There's more room overhead for bags than on many regional jets today. That means less shoving a bag under your feet.

And flight attendants get a high-tech system to keep everything comfortable.

Now check out something a bit fancier.

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