Gama Group has announced the signing of two new aircraft management contracts for Russian clients. The deals will see it operating a Bombardier Challenger 850 and a Boeing BBJ2 on behalf of their Russian owners, taking the UK-based company’s worldwide portfolio to more than 80 aircraft, including several Boeing, Bombardier, Dassault Falcon and Gulfstream jets based in Moscow.
“We have been supporting the needs of our Russian clients for over 15 years,” said Gama Aviation general manager Tom Wells. “Our clients respect our knowledge of the Russian market, our hands-on experience of all major business aircraft types and the global coverage of Gama’s operations.”
Recently, Wells told AIN, Russian owners have been more inclined to have their aircraft registered in the UK and operated under UK air operators certificates. “After the peak around 2006 and 2007, the market [in Russia] declined a lot during 2008 and 2009 and there was some natural attrition with aircraft being sold,” he said. “We have maintained some of these [former owners] as charter clients and in the last year to 18 months we have seen the market coming back and more so than in other parts of the world.
Next year, Gama, which is headquartered at the London-area Farnborough Airport, will celebrate its 30th anniversary. The company, which is a first-time exhibitor at the Jet Expo show, has 30 operating bases across Europe, the Americas, Asia and the Middle East.
“We have looked at the possibility of moving directly into Russia with an AOC there,” said Wells. “But it is still pretty restrictive there and the rewards aren’t necessarily there yet.”