Vnukovo-3, Russia's largest FBO, is ready to strengthen its position in the domestic market this year thanks to the ongoing recovery of the country's business aviation sector from the pandemic's consequences, according to recent statements by representatives of the FBO and independent analysts. According to data provided by WingX Advance in April, Vnukovo-3 is the leading airport in Europe in terms of the number of business aviation flights year-to-date. The airport plans to retain that status throughout the year.
At present, Vnukovo-3 continues to show positive dynamics, as the demand for business aviation flights in Russia is steadily growing. However, a further expansion of Vnukovo-3, according to its representatives, will probably be suspended until 2022.
Anna Kislova, head of the development and quality-control department of Vnukovo-3/Vipport, told AIN that while the business aviation sector in Russia is gradually improving, the company will be unlikely to implement major investment projects this year. "Currently," said Kislova, "the infrastructure of our complex remains unchanged, and there are no plans for new investment projects this year. The most difficult period we had was in April 2020, after which the situation began to improve rapidly, allowing the company to reach pre-pandemic results."
Kislova added that Vipport this year has particularly high hopes for the RUBAE Expo, one of Russia’s most important annual business aviation events that will be held September 8 to 10 in the traditional format. According to Kislova, RUBAE 2021 will be the first Russian business aviation event that will be conducted in the common format since the beginning of the pandemic.
At present, about 90 percent of Russian business aviation traffic concentrates in the Moscow region. In addition to Vnukovo-3, Terminal A of Sheremetyevo Airport remains a center of business aviation in the country. According to local analysts, Covid-19 has not had a catastrophic effect on business aviation in Russia, as local authorities did not impose restrictions on business flights even during the pandemic's peak.
On the contrary, the cancellation of the majority of regular flights and closure of Russia's borders with the majority of foreign states from the end of March to August last year actually led to the growth of business aviation flights to and outside the country. In June last year, the number of flights almost doubled, while the peak of demand took place months later in September.
One reason for the rapid development of the business aviation sector in Russia is the lack of traditional bureaucracy associated with the issuance of permissions for such flights, which are usually provided by the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency. At present, popular destinations for business flights originating in Russia include St. Petersburg, Sochi, and Simferopol, as well as Nice, France; Dubai; and London.