Positioning itself as the first of its kind in Belarus, a business aviation operator is planning to launch services in 2018. The airline will own a fleet of turboprop and jet-powered aircraft seating up to 10 passengers, Belarusian news agency BelTA reports.
There are plans to purchase two Swiss-made Pilatus Aircraft PC-12NG turboprops, which offer enough range to cover most of Europe from Belarus. The type is also suitable for operating off short runways.
“These will be new aircraft, they are currently being assembled,” a spokesperson for the operator told Onliner newswire. “They will be the first aircraft in our fleet. We will add jet-powered aircraft later on. The project is aimed at spurring business activity in the region. At present, Belarusian businesspeople mostly fly in business class on scheduled flights, or they charter business jets from other countries, having to pay for the empty leg.”
The operator is being created in line with an investment agreement signed by Belarus’s Transport and Communications Ministry. The agreement also calls for the construction, by 2019, of a business aviation terminal at the country’s main airport, to be called FBO Minsk. The facility is to house a regional servicing and maintenance center for Pilatus aircraft.
In Russia, PC-12 are operated commercially by Avia Management Group, which started out as an air-taxi service under the Dexter brand. A single Pilatus PC-6 is registered with another Russian operator, Polar Airlines.
The OEM’s Russian representative, Nesterov Aviation, is planning to set up a PC-12 maintenane center in the country. The company told Russian Aviation Insider that the center will be responsible for maintaining and repairing such aircraft, but will lalso supply parts and tools to Russian operators of the type.
Nesterov Aviation is also viewing other CIS markets, and is reporting certain progress with Kazakhstan and Belarus.
Belarus also has an air-taxi operator, MalAvia, which offers charter Cessna 402 Businessliner III charter flights from “any airport of the country.”