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Ponyexpres business development reaches fleet expansion stage
Ponyexpres plans to acquire additional aircraft in the next year. "We are now choosing the best option for us from the operational and customer point of view," says Ponyexpres pilot Jan Camek.

Ponyexpres plans to acquire additional aircraft in the next year. "We are now choosing the best option for us from the operational and customer point of view," says Ponyexpres pilot Jan Camek.

The Czech Republic charter company, owned by Milan Sura, operates a Cessna 421C Golden Eagle which benefits from upgraded avionics. It flies both cargo and passenger services.

"Our clients are people who have tried our service and were satisfied and therefore come back often," says Camek. "What we can offer is fast transport for a price that is below the even the smallest jets."

He says the Golden Eagle is the best available piston twin aircraft on the market. "It not only offers great speed, economics and flexibility, but also allows us to adjust the interior to the immediate need of the customer with no big restrictions. This twin engined aircraft can transport up to 600 kg of payload, but easily changes from freighter to luxury passenger version in just a few minutes. This is why this type was our number one choice."

Business aviation demand is expanding fast but there is also growing competition. "Only strong flexible companies with high quality service can win the race,"

Camek says. "This means permanent analysis to ensure correct pricing, comparing it to other operators, and checking references on other operators in order to improve our service where needed. In the past few months, we have managed to get quite close to our maximum capacity. But this is a partly seasonal business which requires constant and systematic marketing and PR." Camek says: "We share the optimism of European operators but we have to anticipate the economic situation in the region in two, three or more years. We want to avoid having free capacity with fixed costs but we want to acquire new aircraft within the next 12 months."

He adds: "We prepare the final price quote within 15 minutes of receiving a request. We also guarantee the departure in less than two hours after the flight confir-mation, but usually provide a response time of less than one hour."

The Golden Eagle is operated by Time Air, but flies in the colours of Ponyexpres. "We are chartering all over Europe," says Camek. Ponyexpres, founded in 1995 in Liberec, has a permanent crew of two pilots, Camek and David Cerny, but outsources most services such as maintenance and catering. It regards itself as a transport leader in the Czech Republic's northern Bohemia region, operating more than 50 vehicles, buses and vans. "The business potential is very good due to the industrial development of the whole region," says Camek.

Capt. Cerny won the world championship in precision flying in 2006 in France as junior pilot and today is a member of the Czech team.