Hail the sky taxi— Moscow


There’s now a more reliable and affordable way to get between Russia’s far-flung regional capitals – a zippy Swiss Air taxi.

Aviation, Dexter, Planes, Taxi, Transport

Eduard Yevtyukhin hops out of his taxi and strolls across the tarmac. He works for Dexter, a company that runs a taxi service across European Russia with a fixed per-km rate and easy online ordering. But there’s one big difference between Dexter and other Russian taxi companies: Yevtyukhin is a qualified pilot and his taxi, which travels at 9,000m above the ground, is a bright orange Pilatus PC-12, one of eight of the Swiss-made turboprops in Dexter’s fleet.

The company describes itself as Russia’s first air taxi service and the principles are just…

Plane talking

Range of Pilatus PC-12: 2,000km

Top speed: 519km/h

Distance of average order: 800km

Percentage of foreign clients: 5 per cent

Price to hire Dexter plane from Moscow to Nizhny Novgorod: RUB70,560 (€1,750)

Price for one passenger one-way business class Moscow to Nizhny Novgorod on s7 Airlines in March: RUB26,665 (€646)

How to fly commercial in Russia and stay sane

Don’t rely on the internet: many smaller airlines don’t even have their own website.

Put documents in order: airport officials love to shake down foreigners for bribes.

Fly Aeroflot where possible: we can’t quite believe we’re endorsing Aeroflot but small airlines are less safe and less reliable.

Bring a sense of humour: if you can’t laugh at the bad service, you may go mad.

Be prepared to wait: especially in winter, flights can be delayed for hours – or days.

Leave your manners at home: if you ever want to get to the front of that queue, push.

Take a booze onboard: calming when that 1960s Soviet plane hits turbulence.

Save your baggage tag: or the angry babushka at the other end will never let you out of the airport with your suitcase.

Pilatus PC-12

Vital statistics

01 Engines Plane is powered by a single Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 turboprop engine.

02 Speed Has a cruise speed of 500km an hour and can carry a payload of 1,500kg.

03 Cabins Can take nine passengers but many corporate planes carry just six.

04 Distance Capable of flying up to 4,149km (with just pilot), 2,804km with nine passengers.


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