The Russian government is considering softening its import tax, set at 20%, for business jets and certain types of onboard equipment not produced domestically. If the go-ahead is given, business aviation supporters believe Russian operators could effectively double the 15-strong fleet of Western-built aircraft, which translates into around $250-300 million of sales. The move could also persuade Russian owners to remove their business aircraft from foreign registers.

Russian business aviation companies operate about 50 business jets, mostly converted Antonov An-74s, Tupolev Tu-134s, Yakovlev Yak-40s and Yak-42s. The number of VIP-configured jets, including those with Russian carriers, totals between 70 and 80 aircraft.

On top of the 20% import tax, non-domestically produced business aircraft are subject to a 20% VAT levy, effectively pricing them out of the market. Antonov, Tupolev and Yakovlev are working on their respective An-74T,Tu-324VIP and Yak-48 business jet designs, but these are not expected to enter service for several years.

Source: Flight International