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6 May, 2008 02:17

$100 helicopters to beat Moscow traffic

Moscow’s notoriously heavy traffic has spurned a new industry in commuter helicopters. From next year, helicopters will run every 30 minutes from Moscow’s Vnukovo-3 airport. Ten berths are being built at the airport, linking it to the city's financial dis

“We’ll see scheduled flights every half an hour from Vnukovo as early as next year. A chartered helicopter for four people costs from 500 dollars, scheduled ones will be even cheaper,” Vnukovo-3 airport chief, Aleksandr Popov, said.

The airport is at the hub for Russia’s business jet revolution. The sector grows at 35% per year, with sales of $US2 BLN last year.

Next week global helicopter makers battle for Russian orders at the industry’s biggest event, HeliRussia.

Meanwhile the body representing private jet players – the United Business Aviation Association – warns the key road-block to progress is the government’s 41% import tariffs on foreign jets.

“If you have your Challenger or Embraer you don’t want to use Tupolev or Yakovlev,” believes UBAA head Maksim Fedotov.