The first Sapphire Pegasus Business Aviation Awards gala dinner was held on April 8, supported by the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA), Central Europe Private Aviation (CEPA) and the Russian United Business Aviation Association (RUBAA), with the aim of honoring top business aviation performers from the Europe/Middle East/Africa region and Russia.

“I believed that a new form of objective industry-wide appreciation was needed. I have put a lot of thought into it,” says Lukacinova. Modestly, she doesn’t mention that she brought the idea from concept to reality, which is no mean achievement. The Sapphire Pegasus Award gets its name from the Bohemian crystal produced by the glass masters of the Moser Glassworks.

The second awards ceremony is already planned for April next year. “For me the number of nominations (there were 87) as well as the various comments that I have received are a clear indication that the Awards will be accepted as an asset in the industry,” Lukacinova says. The Board of Advisors reviews the nominations independently and is headed by Vladimir Petak, CEO of ABS Jets. The eight judges are all industry specialists and journalists who have the final word on the election of the award winners. Notes EBAA CEO Fabio Gamba, “In these challenging times, it is important for us to also celebrate our successes.”

Lukacinova says that the Awards create the perfect informal event for senior executives from Russia and the west to network. In the past, Russians complained that western and eastern European companies didn’t try to understand how they did business, while western companies who would like to do business with them found it difficult to make connections.

“This is one of the key ideas behind the Sapphire Pegasus Awards, which offer both parties opportunities to meet, network and really see who is there,” she says—Mike Vines