Wings of luxury - visiting Jet Expo Moscow
The private aviation industry has a few annual gathering events, and one of them is Jet Expo in Moscow.
Although the Russian market has been affected by economic and geopolitical turmoil, Moscow is still home to scores of ultra-high-net-worth individuals, including a notable number of billionaires. Not a surprise, then, that the Russian capital, and Jet Expo in particular, features quite prominently in the calendar private jet industry.
Private aviation is also becoming an (even more) interesting industry, with new distribution channels opening it up to new publics and an attractive and diverse range of offerings across all aircraft categories.
In this regard, Jet Expo seems to be oriented towards the upper end of the market, with aircraft like the Bombardier Global 6000, the Gulfstream G650 and Airbus, Boeing and UAC (Sukhoi) presenting their own airliner versions for the executive market.
The Airbus ACJ, an A319 converted into an executive jet, complete with its bedroom and bathroom with shower, stands out in the large aircraft segment.
Next are some pictures of the ACJ that Airbus brought to the show.
As you may have guessed already, it is as spectacular in the inside as you would expect from a private aircraft on this scale.
Standing next to the Airbus ACJ and slightly smaller was the Sukhoi Superjet VIP - in the colour scheme of Russian government jets (a livery shared also, until very recently, by Aeroflot's subsidiary Rossiya).
I did not get any good pictures from the interior, but here are some from the outside - I keep thinking the Superjet is, actually, a beautiful plane!
Face to face with the Falcons
An aircraft that surprised me in a very positive way was the Dassault Falcon 7X (until the launch of the Falcon 8X, the youngest and top-of-the-range member of the legendary Falcon family). This was really a first for me, I had seen the Bombardier and Gulfstream models, even the Airbus ACJs and Boeing BBJs, at other events such as EBACE, in Geneva, but I did not really know what to expect of the Dassault Falcon family.
Getting on board of the Falcon was really a revelation: in addition of its advertised technical performance, I found the design of this aircraft, both in the inside and from the outside, extremely inspiring.
Helicopters were also present at the show, with Airbus Helicopters presenting is offering in a market that has a strong local competitor, Russian Helicopters. Although Airbus has a solid position here at the top end of the market.
A cute little plane from Japan
Another aircraft that caught my eye was the Honda Jet.
Already in the small privatet jet segment (it fits 4-5 people and sells from around $4.5M) this small Japanese jet has some very interesting features.