ABS Jets, fresh from sealing the acquisition of a fourth Legacy, a 600 to be delivered in March 2008, is looking at further expanding its fleet. The Czech Republic charter operator will take delivery of a Learjet 60XR in August, a month later than planned. It will join three other Learjets and two Bravos.
But commercial director Jan Vana says that more jets will join the ABS managed fleet in 2007 and 2008. "Several alternatives are under discussion but it is too early to say what will be acquired. We are in discussions with several potential owners."
The Czech Republic has advanced private air transport more than any other former Soviet bloc countries, according to Marian Janaafiik, ceo of ABS, which is a member of consolidated Czech and Slovak investment group J&T. There are already four strong players in the republic and room in the market to absorb further business aviation traffic. "This country still has the
real boom in business aviation ahead of it," Janaafiik says. He estimates that two-thirds of ABS clients are based in the Czech Republic, though not necessarily Czechs, and three-quarters are business people.
Other Czech operators include Grossman Jet Services, owned by K&K Capital Group (KKCG),
Silesia Air and Time Air. All expect demand for international charter flights to increase. ABS has developed its European presence with partners in Russia, U.K.. Switzerland, Germany and Austria. It reports expanding business in Bulgaria and Romania.
Vana says: "The business aviation sector, offering point-to-point charter flights, is growing faster than the overall air traffic market." It is reported that the Czech Republic had an average 74.3 business jet movements per day in 2005, producing year-on-year growth of 15.3 per cent.
In June this year, ABS Jets became an Embraer Executive Aircraft Service Centre, the fifth one in Europe, and the first in the central and eastern European countries.