Abelag is here at EBACE Booth No. 253 as a first-time exhibitor, highlighting the company’s two European FBOs and its charter, aircraft management and maintenance capabilities. Founded in 1964, Abelag operates 20 business jets from three bases, in Brussels and Kortrijk, Belgium and Lille, France. Abelag’s Brussels and Kortrijk bases are also full-service FBOs.
With business jets ranging from a Hawker Beechcraft King Air B200 to a Dassault Falcon 2000EX, Abelag offers a variety of ways for customers to fly, including charter, fractional-share and 25-hour jet cards. The fractional share operation was launched a year ago, and shares are sold in one-sixth or one-third increments in the company’s Cessna Citation CJ2s. Abelag is now adding a third CJ2 to its fleet.
The Abelag fleet is maintained in-house at the company’s FAA-approved Part 145 stations in Brussels and Kortrijk. While most maintenance resources are used for its own airplanes, in the future Abelag will offer seven-day-per-week retail maintenance for Citation, Falcon and Learjet operators, according to Hervé Laitat, general manager.
At Brussels and Kortrijk, Abelag’s FBOs offer services that include fuel delivery (in Abelag’s own trucks), parking, security screening, catering, pilot and passenger lounges and in Brussels storage in a 3,000-square-meter hangar. Kortrijk offers 4,000-square-meters of ramp space, while the Brussels base accommodates Boeing 747s on its 40,000-square-meter ramp. At Brussels, Abelag plans to build more hangar space to try to meet strong demand, Laitat said. An extension to the Brussels FBO terminal is already under construction.
Abelag’s business continues to grow in volume, according to Laitat. Smaller companies in Europe are growing more interested in flying on business jets, he added, and this could open new opportunities for Abelag to manage airplanes based in other cities like London and Paris. Abelag customers also include U.S. flight departments that hire Abelag to fly charters for company executives traveling in Europe. “Our emphasis on safety is always number one,” Laitat said.