While fuel prices have skyrocketed up to 30 per cent in Russia recently turboprop sales on the local market get a good chance for growth. The fuel consumption advantage seems to be a significant market driver for this segment of business aircraft.
The Western market has remained bullish for turboprops for several years already. According to GAMA´s 3 quarters results shipments increased 14.5 per cent compared to the same period last year. Pre-owned turboprops are in great demand worldwide as well.
The Russian market has quite a specific feature – the demand for the prevalent high-end business aircraft has remained stable since the early 2000s while signs of improvement for turboprops and entry-level bizjets first appeared 1—1.5 years ago.
The official Beechcraft Hawker representative in Russia Alexander Shubin told JETS.ru that turboprops are quite competitive to comparable light bizjets on the local market and worldwide featuring great fuel efficiency, spacious cabin and state-of-the-art performance. He is also confident in the bright prospects of this segment in the Russian province. Shubin expects "dozens" of turboprops to be delivered to Russian owners in 2008.
Victor Kuklyaev, head of Air Alpha Aircraft Sales A/S Russian Rep Office (local dealer of Pilatus PC-12 and the Piper line-up), agrees that potential shipments to the local market in 2008 may amount to "several dozens". The Russian province shows much promise. He expects sufficient demand mostly from two segments – air taxi and medevac. Meanwhile he considers customs barriers as the main obstacle for further market growth.
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