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 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.