September’s JetExpo show at Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport once again provided a fascinating snapshot of how Russia’s business aviation market is continuing to develop. The overall impression from this eighth annual event is that, after a powerful growth surge, the market may be leveling off somewhat, but with every prospect of further expansion.
When most operators put a new turbine-powered Robinson R66 into service they spend some time flying it around the local area just to check things out. But when Moscow-based Aviamarket got its first pair of turbine-powered R66s, the company went a bit further. A six-week around-the-world-type further, to be exact.
As the Robinson dealer in Moscow and operator of a growing helicopter flying club, Avamarket’s team was eager to show off the capabilities of their first pair of R66s, which had received Russian certification in March.
The eighth annual edition of Russia’s JetExpo business aviation show is due to open on Thursday morning at Moscow’s Vnukovo-3 Airport. The three-day event (September 12-14) will feature nearly 50 exhibiting companies and approximately 40 aircraft on static display.
Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (SCAC) last Thursday gained Russian certification of a long-range version of the Superjet 100 known as the SSJ100-95LR, following 115 hours of testing during 60 flights since February 15. Five percent more thrust generated by the airplane’s Powerjet SaM146 turbofans and strengthened wings increase the airplane’s range to 2,472 nm from 1,590 and maximum takeoff weight to 109,109 pounds from 101,150.
Demand for business aviation in Russia and the wider Commonwealth of Independent States is continuing to excite aircraft manufacturers and service providers alike, especially with the nearby markets of Western Europe remaining largely stagnant. Russia was not untouched by fallout from the financial crisis that started in 2008, but for most of the past 10 years has sustained strong business aviation growth.
Russian aircraft interiors specialist AviaPrestige has forged an alliance with business aviation services group Avcom to make cabin refurbishment more readily available to aircraft owners in Russia. At Jet Expo this week in Moscow, the company announced that it has established a facility within the Avcom’s engineering base at Moscow Domodedovo Airport so that interior work can be done while aircraft are undergoing maintenance there.
Switzerland-based VistaJet named Dexter Aviation, a Moscow-based Pilatus PC-12 charter operator, as its Russian partner. Under the arrangement, announced last week, VistaJet will lease two of its yet-to-be-delivered Challenger 605s to Dexter, which will base the large-cabin jets at one of Moscow’s airports when they arrive in the third or fourth quarter.
Charter operator JetFlite International has found that growing competition has made doing business in traditional strongholds in the U.S. much more difficult, and thus the company has expanded its services to tap new sources of revenue. This includes serving new markets in Russia and other countries and the October 2011 opening of JetFlite’s FAA-approved Part 145 repair station at the company’s Long Beach, Calif. headquarters.
Moscow-based shared-use program Jet Travel Club (JTC) officially started operations last week. JTC members can make non-commercial flights on the club’s two CitationJets and two Hawkers and use an area in the VIP terminal at Moscow-Domodedovo Airport. Membership is not limited to Russian nationals; foreign citizens can buy a JTC card for access to the club’s Russian-registered business jets.
Charter and management firm JetFlite International (JFI) has signed a partnership agreement with Moscow’s Best-Jets to help JFI penetrate the Russian market. Named JFI Russia, the new entity comes partly as a result of Best-Jets acting as JFI’s handling agent in the country for the past five years.
- Page 1