Estonia's Avies Air Company has taken delivery of a Learjet 31 as it continues to grow the international charter business of a company founded in 1991 as the country's first private air taxi service.
General director Valentin Manusha told EBAN: "Avies has built a strong foundation in the Estonian aviation market, and a firm position in the Baltic and the northern European countries.
"The geography of our flight activity extends every year. We outgrew national borders a long time ago. Our planes fly from the Mediterranean up to Arctic Ocean and from central Asia to Scandinavia. The circle of the clients using our services is very extensive."
Manusha says the vip charter market is growing fast and Avies, based in the capital Tallinn, may acquire further aircraft in 2007 to meet demand. The company, which launched with a Piper Chieftain, now has a substantial fleet, including five Learjets and two Jetstreams.
It provides scheduled services as well as vip charter.
Manusha says: "Demand is approximately 30 per cent from Estonian companies, 30 per cent from Russia and the Baltic states, and most of the rest from western Europe and other countries."
He says Avies has focused on Learjets because they are operationally good aircraft that please clients. "We have had a good experience of them dating back to 1998. First of all, the cabin is impressive, then there is good maintenance, and Learjets can fly at a high altitude which makes it easier from the air traffic point of view."
Ten years ago, he points out, Estonia did not have the political, economic or legal and financial preconditions needed to create an independent aircraft organisation funded by private capital. But now there is relevant legislation and an environment that encourages growth.
"Our strategic goal is powerful development of the company and an active marketing policy to strengthen and spread our business in the regional market. Our major objectives are to provide a modern fleet, restructure the company as necessary to build business, and to improve the management to meet changing demands in Europe."