Russian Air-Taxi Dexter to Open a Site in Ekaterinburg
13.04.2009 — News
THE SVERDLOVSK OBLAST.
In April 2009 a taxi fleet of the first Russian air-taxi Dexter will start to operate in Ekaterinburg. Evgeny Andrachnikov, the Dexter Project Manager, informed RusBusinessNews that currently 8 single-engine aircraft Pilatus PC-12 are available for charted flights. These aircraft are based in the Bykovo airport in Moscow; also there are aircraft in Saint Petersburg, Nizhniy Novgorod, Samara, and Sochi. In January this year Novyi Urengoy (YaNAO) has become the first Dexter location in the Urals Federal District. Now Pilatus will also be based in the Koltsovo airport in Ekaterinburg.
The project aims to establish a countrywide system of air taxis served by a fleet of 70-80 aircraft. At present the total volume of investment amounts to 38 million US dollars. The primary target group are top and middle managers. The Dexter client base has about 80 corporate clients accounting for approximately 80% of all work. The project has contracts with the majority of the Russia's 250 civil airports.
"We see Ekaterinburg as an important outpost. In 2009 our eight aircraft will cover the European part of Russia, part of the Urals and Siberia. And in 2010 our aim will be the Far East," Mr. Andrachnikov pointed out.
Before 2011 Dexter plans to expand its fleet by further 17 Pilatus aircraft. Moreover, a contract has been signed to deliver 20 Cessna Citation Mustang jet aircraft belonging to class VLJ (very light jet) by the same date. According to Evgeny Andrachnikov, the air-taxi fleet needs 13-15 aircraft to cover the running costs. In 2008 the flying time of one Pilatus airplane was 50-60 hours a month which is considered to be high from the cost efficiency view point.
The Dexter project started in 2004. To implement the project the OOO Vozdushnye Transportnye Sistemy (Air Transportation Systems) which owns the fleet, has been established, and the airline ZAO Avia Management Group. The project shareholders are OAO Promishlennye Investory (Industrial Investors) and Kaskol, an aerospace holding company. Apart from the shareholders the project is financed by debt instruments of large institutions, International Finance Corporation in particular.
Experts say that before the crisis the business aviation market in Russia, Dexter being in the lower market segment, was growing 40% a year. The capacity of the market was assessed at 2 billion dollars.
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