Plans for air taxi services in eastern Europe, Turkey and Russia have taken a major step forward with 220 Eclipse 500s now "reserved."
Eastern European distributor ETIRC Aviation Europe has placed an order for 180 Eclipse 500 aircraft - 120 firm and 60 options. Roel Pieper, chairman of ETIRC Aviation, says: "Eastern Europe has many emerging business growth markets that are ideal for the Eclipse 500.
This order will be the catalyst for the introduction of air services to many eastern European communities, and will ultimately help accelerate economic development."
The order complements a recent ETIRC order for 40 Eclipse 500s. ETIRC Aviation, which has formed a partnership with Atasay in Turkey, says it will lead and coordinate aircraft certification efforts.
Pieper adds: "Based on the level of interest and enthusiasm from business leaders and entrepreneurs in this region, we realised that our initial Eclipse 500 order would not be adequate. I am pleasantly surprised by the enormous amount of interest in Russia and Turkey."
Vern Raburn, ceo Eclipse Aviation, says that orders are being sandwiched into a 2008 production slot allocated for fleet aircraft. "Individual orders for 2008 deliveries won't be disrupted," he adds.
ETIRC Aviation plans to develop into an operational and management firm. Pieper says: "We are seeing an explosion in the demand for private aircraft. The Eclipse has a big appeal. Its range of 1,125 nm and low direct operating costs are among key attractions."
Both business and leisure travel is expanding with passengers wanting to benefit from timesaving schedules that enable them to plan single day "multiple city and country" itineraries.
Operators also have advanced plans to meet long haul demand. Arkasair has ordered a Challenger 300 in 2008 as it plans ahead to meet growing demand for vip charter services from Izmir. It already operates a Challenger 604 and a Learjet 60 from its base at Adnan Menderes airport.
An in-depth focus on the development of air charter in Turkey is being compiled for the July issue of EBAN. The 07/08 EBAN Handbook of Business Aviation provides detailed information about the operators. These can be accessed through a search of aircraft operated or the airport bases. For more information please go to www.ebanhandbook.com