Russia's first air taxi launches operations in Sochi

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MOSCOW/SOCHI, May 27 (RIA Novosti) - Dexter Air Taxi, Russia's first aircraft taxi service, gave a presentation in Sochi, a Russian Black Sea resort, on Tuesday to mark the launch of operations in southern Russia, the company said in a statement.

Dexter will handle flights from Sochi to other cities in southern Russia and former Soviet republics. The company will operate its own aircraft for destinations within 2,000km (1,240 miles), mostly to locations which have no regular air flights.

Dexter will employ a new fleet of Swiss-made Pilatus PC-12 passenger and cargo aircraft with Russian registration. The planes can seat eight passengers, have a maximum speed of 519 km/h (323 mp/h) and can cover distances of 2,000 km (1,240 miles).

"Arrangements for the 2014 Olympics have given us hope that the service will be in demand," Vladimir Reunov, deputy chief at Sochi airport, told reporters.

Preparations are currently underway in Sochi to host the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Dexter, established in 2004, plans to expand its fleet to 13 planes by the end of 2008, and to create a national chain with a fleet of 80-100 by 2013.

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