On November 27 Jet Aviation became the first international business aviation services group to establish a support operation in Moscow when it took possession of a hangar next to the Vnukovo-3 business aviation terminal. It has also begun construction on a 33,000-sq-ft hangar that should be completed early this year. The company expected its new facility to be appointed an authorized service center for one or more airframers by early this year.
The deal has taken at least two years, and the Switzerland-based group is exploring ways to expand its services in Russia’s booming business aviation market to include aircraft management and charter.
Last month Jet Aviation’s Vnukovo operation started offering line maintenance and AOG services in close cooperation with its FBO at Dusseldorf, Germany.
A Burgeoning Market
“The beginning of joint work between our airport and a major operator like Jet Aviation convincingly testifies to our long-term strategy, which envisions further pursuit of this business at our airport,” said Vitaly Vantsev, chairman of the board of Vnukovo Airport. The airport reported 50-percent growth in business aviation traffic last year.
“We deemed it necessary to enter the Russian market as soon as we could in view of the tremendous growth rate of Russian business aviation,” said Jet Aviation CEO Peter Edwards. Moscow accounts for the lion’s share of Russia’s fast-growing corporate and private air traffic. Jet Aviation also evaluated the city’s Domodedovo Airport as a base for its activities before opting for Vnukovo, which is the country’s main business aviation gateway and already has purpose-built infrastructure.
Maksim Fedosov, deputy director general for customer business development with local FBO VIP-Port, said Jet Aviation is responding to operators’ longstanding requests to have their aircraft maintained at Vnukovo rather than having to take them to foreign service centers.
Jet Aviation “can’t ignore Russia’s burgeoning business aviation,” said Sergey Morozov, director general of executive charter and aircraft sales group Planet Aviation. In his view, the company’s presence boosts Vnukovo’s reputation as a business aviation gateway.
In fact, Morozov argued that there is a need for further expansion of Moscow’s business aviation infrastructure. “So far, not a single new airport has been built in Moscow. What is being done is just renovation and expansion of the old ones, despite the acute need for new facilities for business aviation,” he concluded.