Sales successes in Russia and Ukraine prompt Canadian manufacturer to explore market in former Soviet states

Bombardier is looking at several Russian satellite states for increased business aviation activity following the recent sale of the first Challenger 300 super mid-size aircraft to Ukraine.

It will be operated by Bombardier's long-term business-aviation services partner Execujet and will remain on the Swiss register as the aircraft is not certificated by the Ukrainian authorities. However, Bombardier hopes the presence of the Challenger 300 in the country will "facilitate" other sales in the ex-Soviet republics making up the CIS. Bob Horner, Bombardier vice-president of business aircraft sales for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, says there is a "concerted effort to sell in the CIS, following on from the success seen in Russia". Horner says several non-European Union countries in eastern Europe, such as Belarus, Moldova and Romania, have been identified as potential future markets in addition to Ukraine. Execujet executive director for finance, Patrick Kleu, says the company, which has progressively expanded its dealership territories for Bombardier aircraft over the past 10 years, is "happy" with the current situation in eastern Europe, where sales are organised direct from Bombardier.

Bombardier has been actively marketing its business aircraft in Russia since the late 1980s and, despite a slow start, it is the market leader through its Moscow-based sales agent Liftec, says Horner. There are 16 Global Express and Global 5000 super large jets, 15 Challenger 300 and 604 large jets and "several" Learjets in Russia, says Horner.

Sales of foreign-manufactured business aircraft attract an import duty as well as value-added tax, giving a combined 43% on the sticker price. Horner says Bombardier is "monitoring the situation on tax closely", but says sales are not being frustrated.


Source: Flight International