Funding Proposed for Russian Air-taxi Network

 - April 9, 2007, 12:10 PM

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank, is proposing to loan up to $15 million to assist in establishing an on-demand air-taxi service in Russia using a fleet of Russian-made M101T turboprop singles. “Implementation of the project will have a strong positive impact on air-transport connectivity between cities currently underserved or not served at all by air carriers, especially in remote and underdeveloped parts of Russia,” the IFC said. Also, the project should have a positive impact on the Russian aircraft manufacturing industry and suppliers, “supporting airport infrastructure in many smaller cities of Russia, demonstrating the benefits of innovation and international cooperation to the domestic aircraft manufacturers and offering new creative approaches and best practices to the air-transport sector.” The IFC said it will be a source of long-term financing, which is still “difficult to secure in Russia.” Its participation in the form of quasi-equity will “significantly improve the project’s ability to attract debt financing.” IFC is scheduled to make a final decision on its proposal by September 30.