Rosoboronexport, Russia’s defense export agency, continues to benefit from backing by President Vladimir Putin. Speaking at a late April meeting of the Commission for Military Technical Cooperation with Foreign Countries, Putin claimed that Russia is second only to the U.S. in terms of volume of military shipments, with a 27-percent market share.
Russian Helicopters has taken over the management of five aircraft repair plants formerly owned by Russia’s ministry of defense. The plants are located in Khabarovsk, Svetly (Kaliningrad Region), Engels (Saratov Region), St. Petersburg and Chita. They will “significantly strengthen” after-sales service for Russian commercial and military helicopters, according to the manufacturer. Managers from the plants met with Russian Helicopters CEO Alexander Mikheev on May 21.
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.
Russian Helicopters reported an increase in revenues, to RUB125.7 billion ($4 billion), for last year on the strength of a 10.7-percent increase in deliveries. “Last year we delivered 290 helicopters of nine different types to our clients from 19 countries,” said CEO Dmitry Petrov. The backlog stood at 817 helicopters, worth RUB350 billion ($11 billion) as of December 31.
Avcom, Russia’s oldest dedicated business aviation company, has started establishing badly needed maintenance infrastructure in the Siberian cities of Irkutsk, Omsk and Khabarovsk. The group also has just secured approval from Kazhakstan officials to work on business aircraft registered in the country and now plans to open a technical base there as well.
The Russian United Business Aviation Association (RUBAA) has said that conditions for importing foreign-manufactured aircraft into the country have become significantly easier, removing one of key remaining barriers to the industry growth in this potentially huge market.
Construction of a business aviation center at Pulkovo Airport in St. Petersburg, Russia, missed its target for completion last month, but builder and operator JetPort told AIN that the FBO is nearly done and the facility will open this summer. Called Pulkovo-3, the facility sits on a 24-acre lot that includes apron and parking places for 20 business jets. The 43,000-sq-ft, two-story business aviation terminal will be able to serve up to 1,500 passengers daily, the company said.
The crash of a chartered Yak-42 regional airliner on September 7 in Yaroslavl, Russia, that left 44 professional hockey players dead has prompted calls from authorities to take additional measures to encourage the country’s airlines to merge into bigger structures and replace aging Soviet airplanes.
Business aviation companies eager to tap Russian private and corporate wealth could be in luck here in Geneva this week because the country’s economy is bouncing back and Russians are once again shopping for aircraft. Russia’s economy is seeing growth rates as high as 10 percent–a figure that puts most of Western Europe in the shade.
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