icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

Business elite beat jams with flying taxis

Russian business leaders are turning to air taxis as a means of avoiding long train or car journeys. Last week, the government scrapped import duties on business aircraft, which is good news for the emerging air-taxi sector.

Dexter is the first Russian air-taxi firm. With a fleet of just seven jets, the company has the daring goal of becoming a national air-taxi chain within a couple of years.

The boss of the firm, Evgeny Andrachnikov, says his service will change how business people travel.

“We've made some kind of a revolution. We bought foreign aircraft, we registered them under the Russian flag, we paid VAT and custom duties and now people are able to use foreign aircraft, well-proven, very comfortable,” he said.
 
Demand for the service has fulfilled expectations, with aircraft operating 65 hours a month.

Dexter has ordered 25 PC-12 turboprops from Swiss aircraft producer Pilatus.

Dexter signed a $US 60 million deal this month with Cessna Aircraft for 20 Citation Mustang very light jets, with deliveries starting in 2011.

Other business jet operators agree that air taxis have a bright future in Russia.

Meantime, a lack of professional pilots and poor infrastructure remain a major problem.

Podcasts