Sukhoi Civil Aircraft Company has produced the first VIP version of its new Superjet SSJ-100 airliner. The first example of the Sukhoi Business Jet was on display at last month’s MAKS airshow in Moscow. It is due to go to Russian defense export agency Rosoboronexport by year-end. This aircraft is based on the standard SSJ-100 model but future SBJs will be based on the long-range version of the narrowbody.
Nextant Aerospace launched its sales effort in Russia in June by appointing FortAero Baltic Business Aviation Alliance as its exclusive sales agent in Russia and the CIS. At the same time, FortAero placed an order for two Nextant 400XTis. The first aircraft will be delivered in November and the second in January 2014.
Beechcraft’s primary focus at this week’s JetExpo show will be on helping prospective Russian clients shake off any misgivings they might have about traveling in twin-turboprop aircraft. The U.S. manufacturer is displaying a King Air 350i and and C90GTx at Moscow’s Vnukovo-3 Airport and it will be emphasizing the superior operational flexibility and economics that these aircraft can deliver.
Moscow FBO Avia Group opened a helipad at the Russian capital’s Sheremetievo International Airport today. The company, which operates Terminal A as a business aviation center, is responding to rising demand for helicopter transfers in and out of the airport, especially in view of the heavy road traffic in surrounding areas.
Looking to tap the growing Russian market for in-flight connectivity, Satcom Direct has announced plans to open an office in Moscow. The U.S. company is here at the JetExpo show this week demonstrating its latest capability, including the new Satcom Direct Router (SDR), its first certified hardware product.
Airbus has started market research focused on the needs and preferences of the world’s growing population of billionaires. Announcing the project in Moscow on September 9, Airbus Corporate Jets marketing director David Velupillai said that the investigation should be completed by October, with the results to be made public in a report during the following month. The study is intended to look beyond purely aircraft and travel, and will try to collect a broad array of data on billionaire’s lifestyles, habits and hobbies.
Business aviation continues to grow in Russia, when measured by the number of aircraft and flights. However, it is no longer growing at the rates observed few years ago, according to Eugeny Bakhtin, vice president of Russia’s United Business Aviation Association (RUBAA).
Over the past six years, Gulfstream Aerospace has enjoyed seven-fold growth in the Russia and CIS market, with the number of its aircraft based in the region rising from 11 in 2007 to 76 as of the end of June this year. According to Trevor Esling, the U.S. manufacturer’s senior vice president for international sales, this year’s first half proved to be the slowest period for Russia and CIS sales since the financial crisis of 2009 briefly unsettled this growth market. But he has high hopes for an uptick in the remainder of this year.
The fleet of Dassault Falcon jets in Russia and the CIS countries has doubled over the past five years, with more than 60 Falcon jets now in operation, according to Gilles Gautier, vice president of sales for Dassault Aviation. Seven new aircraft were delivered in the region in the first half of 2013 alone, accounting for 15 percent of Dassault Falcon’s worldwide deliveries.
Jet Aviation, a subsidiary of General Dynamics, has appointed Vitaly Aleksikov as the general director of Jet Aviation Moscow Vnukovo. In this role he is responsible for overseeing the operations at the facility, which includes aircraft maintenance, AOG (aircraft on ground) response, supply-chain management and quality control.