Business jet opportunities remain in Eastern Europe despite conflict


International Jet Management Cessna Citation XLS

Colibri Aircraft, a brokerage company based in London, sees business opportunities in Eastern Europe, as the US buyer pool grows.
International Jet Management Cessna Citation XLS

The Cessna Citation XLS is the best-selling business jet in Europe.

The current conflicts in Eastern Europe may be causing concerns for some economists and financiers, but the business jet brokers at Colibri Aircraft are urging people involved with aircraft transactions to stay calm and keep an eye on the US buyer pool.

Oliver Stone, managing director of Colibri Aircraft in London, says: “It is important to remember that despite the current events in Ukraine and Russia, there is still a great need for executive transportation using private aircraft. The sanctions surrounding the conflict will indeed have a negative impact and there will be obstacles for the aircraft business, particularly with regards to sales. Currency controls and increasing sanctions will pose difficulties for lenders, sellers and operators. However, business will still occur.”

Stone adds: “Just recently, we completed a transaction to that region and although there were some difficulties, the owner is happy and flying his aircraft frequently. There are many business people in Russia who will not be affected by the sanctions, and who will continue to use their aircraft. There will continue to be private aviation business there and opportunities will remain. We went through a lot of ups and downs in various economies in the past five to six years. We monitor all markets carefully.”

Stone points out that US buyers account for over 80 per cent of all transactions in some market segments. “After years of aircraft leaving the US, we have seen a strong surge of activity going back to the US register,” adds Stone.

Marian Jancarik, who is in charge of Colibri Aircraft operations in the Central and Eastern European region, says: “I operate from Slovakia with a keen eye on everything happening in Central and Eastern European business aviation market. The Czech Republic, and Prague specifically, is a place like no other, and its perceptions, preferences and mentality of the Central and Eastern European market make it stand out amongst other European countries.”

“Unlike other countries in the region, the majority of private jets are owned by private individuals for personal use; very few are delivered specifically for the charter business. This makes the population of the business jets in the Czech Republic very stable and signifies a growing industry that I’m glad to be a part of,” adds Jancarik.