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Russian Executives Spend Big on Luxury Planes

Published: August 28, 2007 (Issue # 1301)


MOSCOW — Russian executives may spend $2.5 billion on business jets over the next two years, an aviation trade group said, prompting companies including Bombardier to chase contracts in a country with 60 billionaires.

“It is just the beginning,” Christophe Degoumois, Bombardier director for business aircraft sales in Russia and other former Soviet countries, said at the MAKS 2007 air show. Russia is Bombardier’s largest European market, and the Montreal-based company says it is the top private jet purveyor in the country.

France’s Dassault Aviation and Brazil’s Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica are among the aerospace companies joining Bombardier in seeking business jet buyers at the biennial air show.

Wealthy Russian individuals and corporations have about 300 executive jets and will have about 100 more delivered by the end of 2008.

Russians bought executive planes valued at $1.5 billion in the last two years, triple the amount spent in the previous two years, Yevgeny Bakhtin, deputy head of the Russian Business Aviation Association, said in an interview last week. Of the $2.5 billion in spending expected by 2009, $1 billion is already contracted.

The most popular models are Bombardier’s Global Express, Boeing’s Business Jet, Hawker Beechcraft’s Hawker 850XP, the Gulfstream V from General Dynamics and the Legacy 600 made by Embraer, according to Bakhtin.

Representatives of all the companies are working the tarmac at MAKS 2007. All but Boeing brought planes to display.

Growth in private jet sales in Russia is “unrestrained,” Bakhtin said.

Customers in Russia and other former Soviet countries placed 90 orders with Bombardier in the last three years for Learjet, Challenger and Global business jets. In the first half of 2007, the company has taken 30 business jet orders from the countries, spokeswoman Danielle Boudreau said.

Dassault has booked orders for 40 aircraft in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan in the past three years, Alain Aubry, sales and marketing vice president, said Thursday at the show. Half of the planes have been delivered, and Dassault is currently negotiating the sale of 10 private jets, he said.

Boeing has interest from private clients in the 787 Dreamliner, said Craig Jones, vice president for commercial airplanes. The 787, which enters service in 2008, can carry as many as 330 people in a commercial configuration.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBA’s ongoing “Breakfast with the Director” series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at “Sounds of the Universe,” a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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