Business aviation flights out of Ukraine saw a dramatic uptick in the third week of last month, apparently in response to the violent unrest in the country. According to Eurocontrol statistics tracked by online charter portal Avinode, there were 70 departures on February 19 and 137 on February 20–a day before ousted President Viktor Yanukovych fled the capital, Kiev. Average daily departures last year stood at 51 and the average so far in 2014 has been 41.
As series production of Antonov’s new-generation An-148 and An-158 regional jets gains momentum, the manufacturer and its close ally lessor Ilyushin Finance Co. (IFC) are trying to raise the type’s temporary operational limitations.
Vector Aerospace, a Vancouver-based maintenance, repair and overhaul service, recently loaded four upgraded Eurocopter AS332L helicopters onto an Antonov An-124 at Vancouver International Airport. Two of the AS332Ls were bound for Australia for use in offshore oil rig servicing contracts and the other two were sent to Afghanistan for utility operations.
The Russian ministry of defense (MoD) has awarded United Aircraft (UAC) a firm order for 15 Antonov An-148 twinjets, according to UAC president Mikhail Pogosian, speaking at the Paris Air Show. The contract is worth Rouble 18 billion ($550 million). The delivery schedule calls for one aircraft this year, eight in 2014-2015 and six in 2016-2017. The Russian government has previously expressed a need for 130 jetliners for various government agencies. This requirement includes 59 An-148s, according to minister for industry and trade Denis Manturov.
Transport aircraft designer Antonov (Hall 1 H298) is presenting the An-70 short take off and landing (Stol) military freighter at the Paris Air Show. The company claims it is the world’s only aircraft that can take off from short unpaved runways of 600 to 700 meters with 20 tons of cargo over a 1,620-nm range.
The An-70 cabin “accommodates all types of CIS and NATO military equipment and armaments as well as construction machines and vehicles weighing up to 47 tons,” according to Antonov.
The first executive variant of the Antonov An-148ChS regional airliner is due to enter service by year-end, flying for the government and operated by Russia’s Special Air Detachment.
Three An-148s in executive guise are currently being completed at United Aircraft’s Vasco facilities in Voronezh, Russia. The original contract issued last year was valued at $66 million for two of the airplanes and the government has indicated the final contract may be for as many as six.
The anticipated signing of a government-to-government deal between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart, Victor Yanukovich, is expected to kick-start a plan to resume production of Antonov’s An-124 Ruslan freighter.
Switzerland-based Altenrhein Aviation (owned by Pilatus Aircraft) has opened an EASA Part 145 line maintenance station in Kiev, Ukraine. Located on Boryspil International Airport, the facility is dedicated to supporting the Gulfstream G150 and G200. The facility will also serve nearby Zhulyany airport and offers 24-hour AOG service covering the Ukraine and adjacent countries.
Russian leasing company Ilyushin Finance (IFC) signed a firm order for 10 Antonov An-158s in late June. The $300 million contract calls for Antonov’s manufacturing branch in Kiev to build the airplanes from 2012 to 2014 for delivery primarily to Latin American airlines.
JetEx Flight Support opened its second site in Europe with a new facility at Kiev, Ukraine, in September. In addition to further FBOs planned in Ukraine, the Dubai-based company is planning to open a facility in that country next year.
Meanwhile, talks are under way for sites in Lebanon and China. According to Mariya Vynohradova, JetEx business development manager for countries of the
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