Demanding Russian Clients Boost ABS Jets
The Russian market has continued to be a key factor in the recovery that Czech Republic-based ABS Jets has seen in the business aviation sector over the past 12 months. Russians own several of the 13 aircraft that the company has under management contracts, with their insurance companies and banks eager to have these assets in the hands of operators based in the European Union.
According to the company, it is still not easy to operate in Russia because getting the necessary permission can be difficult. It has found that a lot of time has to be taken to build relationships and trust with clients in Russia by going there and showing real interest in their situation. Negotiations can also be quite challenging with customers who are famously demanding and yet also appreciative when they receive a high standard of service.
In this respect, Prague-based ABS Jets, which also has a base in the Slovak capital Bratislava, has something of an advantage in that several members of its staff are fluent Russian speakers. The company believes that its central European roots give its team a greater cultural understanding of Russian clients than competitors from further West.
Having added two aircraft in the past year, the ABS fleet now consists of six Embraer Legacy 600s and a mix including the Phenom 300, a Bombardier Learjet 60XR, a Citation Bravo, a pair of Gulfstreams and a Boeing Business Jet. In fact, the company supports around 50 different aircraft in one way or another, partly under maintenance contracts. Its engineering portfolio includes authorized service center status with Embraer and it has provided support for several Russian clients of the Brazilian manufacturer.
Since the 2011 Jet Expo show, ABS Jets opened a new 65,000 sq ft hangar at Prague’s Ruzyne Airport as well as modernizing its existing hangar to make room for expansion of maintenance activities. It has also upgraded its facilities in Bratislava to create more capacity for serving clients from Russia, as well as from nearby Ukraine and the wider Commonwealth of Independent States.