Russian operator Dexter Air Taxi is preparing to take delivery of the first batch of new-generation Pilatus PC-12 single-engine turboprops in the fourth quarter to service its expanding operation.

"The first two PC-12NGs are in the final assembly phase," says Pilatus "and will be handed over to the Moscow-based company in October once Dexter's pilots have completed their training."

Dexter PC-12 
 © Dexter Air Taxi

Dexter began operations in 2005 with a fleet of Myasischev M-101T turboprops. Due to technical hitches with the aircraft Dexter switched to the PC-12, signing an order last year with the Stans, Switzerland-based Pilatus for 13 of the types - four of which have entered service - and options for a further 10 aircraft.

"We plan to deliver four more aircraft to Dexter by the end of the year and five next year. A decision has yet to be made on the final 10 aircraft," says Pilatus.

The PC-12s are supported from a new service centre established by Pilatus agents in Russia, Air Alpha Aircraft Sales - Alpha is building sales of the PC-12 in Russia after obtaining certification for the type in Russia in 2007. Dexter sees the Russian air taxi market expanding rapidly bolstered by the single-engine turboprops, and very light jets - of which it has 20 Cessna Citation Mustangs types on order.

Dexter is targeting businesess, high net-worth individuals and government officials who are keen to fly to airfields closer to their final destination and avoiding large congested airports and scheduled routes.

Dexter is planning to expand its route network offering services from Moscow to the Russian cities of Maikop, Volgograd, Astrakhan, Voronezh, Anapa and Sochi on the shores of the Black Sea, where Dexter is establishing a second base.

Dexter is hoping to exploit the expected high demand for air taxi services during the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, which will be held in Sochi. The company is also expanding services to neighbouring countries including Belarus, the Caucasus region, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, as well as the Baltic and Scandinavian countries.

Dexter is managed by Avia Management Group, alongside charter airline Velvet Club and AAI Acquisition - owner of the former Adam Aircraft.

Source: Flight International