Moscow-based Avia Management Group (AMG) and Polyot Airlines are in talks with the Voronezh region administration in central Russia to set up a regional business aviation centre to provide local charter, scheduled and aerial work services at Voronezh airport.

AMG is part of the Kaskol group, which owns Russian on-demand charter operator Dexter Air Taxi.

The two companies would use Dexter's Pilatus PC-12 single-engine turboprops for local work and Polyot's Saab 2000s, Saab 340s and Antonov An-148s over longer distances.

AMG chairman Evgeny Andrachnikov said the companies are considering setting up a Voronezh base for aircraft to carry out a variety of roles, including local passenger transportation, air ambulance, fire-fighting, agricultural and survey work.

"This market is growing," Andrachnikov said.

"The big change for us is that we have restructured our product line and moved beyond just the air taxi business.

"We are setting up regular scheduled services with the cooperation of the local authorities in the regions, starting with Yaroslavl, Ivanova [central Russia] and Tuva [near China].

"We are also in discussions with the authorities in Voronezh," he added.

Regional air services in Russia have suffered a massive dip in the past decade because of a combined lack of local funding, legislative issues and the retirement of older, Soviet-era aircraft.

© Dexter Air Taxi
 Dexter's Pilatus PC-12 would be used for local work

Voronezh-based Polyot's general director and Andrachnikov met regional officials in Voronezh on 6 July to discuss the plan.

Polyot confirms it has been in discussions over provision of local air services with AMG.

Dexter, Russia's first nationwide air taxi operator, has eight PC-12s but expects to take delivery of another seven by the end of the year and hopes to expand to 25 aircraft by 2014.

The seven year old company offers on-demand, point-to-point air transportation throughout the country, "utilising numerous airports and rural destinations that airlines cannot reach".

Source: Flight International