ABS Jets, an executive jet operator with bases at Vaclav Havel Airport in Prague and Bratislava in the Slovak Republic, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. At start-up ABS had 32 employees operating two managed aircraft, a Citation Bravo and an Legacy 600. Today the firm has grown into one of the major players in European business aviation. ABS employs more than 200 skilled professionals and operates a managed fleet of 12 aircraft, says CEO Vladimir Petak, with a 13th aircraft – a Legacy 650 – due in a few months.
In 2013, ABS logged 3,430 flight hours while operating 2,160 private and charter flights. Of the 12 aircraft (six Legacy 600/650s, one60XR, one Phenom 300 and four long-range Gulfstreams) eight are operated commercially, while the Gulfstreams are for the most part operated privately.
“Our goal is to increase the managed fleet by one aircraft per year,” Petak says.
The company is an Embraer Authorized Service Centre and Embraer Executive Jets Sales representative for the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The maintenance center handles more than 85% of the Embraer Legacy’s operating in Europe and the Russian market. Petak says he’s in talks with Embraer to extend maintenance coverage to the Legacy 450 and 500, and is having discussions with another OEM as well.
“It’s a logical step to offer another brand and not focus entirely on one OEM,” Petak says. “I’m responsible for aircraft sales and the Embraer 450 and 500 will be good choices for most European clients because of their range, cabin size and generous luggage compartment. I think there will be more 500s because our clients from mid- and Eastern Europe prefer larger aircraft.”
The company has FBOs at Prague and Bratislava and for now, Petak says, they suffice. “We have agents at airports like Moscow,” he says, “but this is to make sure our clients are properly supported and all the services that we buy at these destinations are the best quality.”
As well as aircraft management, maintenance, aircraft sales and its FBO business, ABS Jets operates a charter brokerage arm and offers flight planning, executive handling, and travel management and consultancy services. “We continue to keep our standards very high,” Petak says. The future may see “more activities and businesses within our portfolio.”