She has travelled the whole world and cannot imagine her life without aircraft. Antónia Tomková, Business Director, ABS Jets. She is ambitious, goal-oriented, that is why she is successful in the world of private air transport, and not only there. Good coffee and chocolate are her indulgences and she cannot resist new work challenges.
What is a flight like in one of the fleet of ABS Jets?
Preparations for the actual fl ight start at least three hours before the planned departure. Tidying up the plane, refuelling, arranging the interior and catering according to the client’s wishes – all this must be perfect. The client can arrive at the airport shortly before the fl ight, because the check-in does not take more than 15 minutes. Everything takes place without queues or waiting. If by any chance a client gets delayed – our plane will wait for him.
After meeting the Captain and the essential Welcome drink, we take off. Clients can telephone or work during the whole flight, a high-speed wi-fi network is available on board. If a client is interested, he can peep into the flight deck and speak to the pilots. In case of necessity, the large adjustable armchairs can be transformed into comfortable beds at a moment’s notice. A professional stewardess, who receives a detailed briefing about the client’s food and beverage preferences prior to each flight, takes care of the passengers’ wellbeing on board.
After landing at the target destination, clients are also taken care of. After brief arrival formalities, a limousine and driver await them at the airport to take them to their selected hotel.
You are an authorised business representative for Embraer. What does this entail?
We have been the offi cial authorised seller of the Brazilian manufacturer, Embraer, since 2009. At the present time, it is the absolute international Number One in the manufacture of business jets with the widest range of models to choose from. Our task is to explain to companies, as well as to individuals, the advantages of owning their jet plane and to help them choose the most appropriate model. The sales and marketing activities further include organising presentation days and demo fl ights during which potential clients can thoroughly examine selected planes and experience at first hand what is it like to fl y in them.
As the sole dealers in Central and Eastern Europe, since 2007 we have already been mediating not only the possible sales and purchases of Embraer planes, but also their complex maintenance and servicing. Each of the three Embraer Legacy planes registered at present in the region of Central and Eastern Europe are serviced by us.
ABS Jets is expanding. You are building a newhangar in Prague…
… that’s right. Since 2004, our company has already been rapidly expanding. We entered the Slovakian market in 2009. The increasing demand for our services in Slovakia finally forced us into a considerably huge investment in our own new offi ces at Bratislava Airport. At the same time, we started to build our own new hangar at Prague’s Ruzyně Airport. In the near future, we also plan to expand our services to Ukraine, Hungary and Bulgaria. At present, we are already actively examining the possibilities there.
How many employees and planes does ABS Jets have?
At the present time, we employ almost 200 highly qualified experts and operate a total of 11 planes. Our plan is to triple the number of aircraft operated by us within ten years.
What is your client structure?
Approximately two-thirds of our passengers consist of businessmen and chief executives of large companies. Perhaps it might seem surprising, but only about 20% is represented by celebrities. In the course of my career, I have secured flights for probably hundreds of very interesting people.
Can you recall the weirdest wish of any client?
Private air transportation services are tailored to every customer, so no client’s wish should take us by surprise. It often happens, for example, that a client would like to try piloting the plane. However, sometimes even we are amazed. I remember securing a flight for one client, preceded by several days of very intensive preparations. The client had to be assured that everything would be exactly as he wished. However, on the day of departure, instead of a businessman or a celebrity, a small cute Chihuahua—the only passenger—came on board the plane. On
another occasion, a client asked us whether we could transport 20 sheep from South Africa to Bratislava.
I cannot be without the aircraft industry because…
… it is a very dynamic and complex industry which perfectly refl ects the fast changing times. My position requires a high level of work involvement, a combination of many abilities
and especially the willingness and ability continually to learn new things, to develop. Also as Business Director, I must have a wide overview of all areas of business aviation. A combination of knowledge and skills is needed, not only in the field of financing, aircraft operation and chartering, but also in the technical area. On the other hand –high-level work involvement and frequent travel are complemented by unforgettable experiences… In short, the aviation industry is simply sexy.
In private aviation, I want to change…
… in particular the image of private aviation, which is still perceived as a service for extremely rich clients. The contrary is true! With technical development, its availability has
increased dramatically. Even at the present time, private flights are more advantageous in price for clients than several classical Business Class fl ights with commercial airlines.
I am convinced that it will not take many years before, for example, one-day fl ights to Paris will also be given as anniversary gifts by “normal” people.