Three Fokker 100 VIPs have entered commercial service with Russian business aviation holding company Moscow Sky. The managed aircraft, formerly operated by bankrupt Canadian carrier JetGo, were recently refurbished at Sabena Technics DNR completions centre in Dinard, France. The aircraft are registered in Austria but operate from Moscow Vnukovo airport, which this week opened a new VIP terminal, predomiantly to destinations in Russia and Western Europe.

Moscow Sky plans to almost double the range of the Fokker 100 with the installation early next year of auxilliary fuel tanks by Fokker Services, says deputy general Igor Bublovsky: "The current range of up to 3000km (1620nm) is not enough. We need our Fokkers to fly from Moscow to any point in Europe, and as fas as Irkutsk in Siberia."

Fokker 100 VIPs will service a niche market, he adds, where up to 15 passengers "want to travel in high comfort". He says: "Most of the dedicated business aircraft [in Russia] seat up to nine passengers. Although the Gulfstream V can seat up to 15, they are costly to operate and charter. The only practical solution today [on the Russian market] is to hire a very expensive Boeing Business Jet, but it is much more expensive".

Source: Flight International