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Status Quo East.

Business aviation companies use the word ‘international’ to describe the clients they serve, the scope of their operation and the standards they espouse. Until recently, globally-minded companies followed a trend that nowadays – apart from large corporations – only a few small and mid-sized businesses seem to adopt: Outsourcing.


In an industry where personnel are accustomed to constant relocation, outsourcing is becoming a reality for aviation companies based in Europe and they should look East to find reliable partners.


At the Europe-Ukraine Forum that took place in May in Budapest, government officials from Central European nations (especially Ukraine) carried a clear message. Emphasizing their focus on human rights, media freedom, recent laws to optimize customs clearance and the centralization of the Large Taxpayers Office, they are making an effort to increase transparency and build trust concerning the opportunities they offer foreign investors. Ukraine, home of the Antonov 225, the largest Airplane in the world, clearly has the capacity to handle large projects competitively. According to International Monetary Fund estimates, Ukrainian annual income per capita in 2012 amounted to $2,991 (23,931 hryvnyas ). This is an amount equal to what an average hangar staff-worker earns in a month in Switzerland.


Does looking East begin to make sense?

Everyone seemed to be having a good time this year at EBACE, despite empty areas occupied in previous years by prosperous aviation companies.  The outlook still seemed positive, especially for manufacturers. No matter that Industry Growth in Europe is stalled and 2012 was one of its toughest business aviation years, with departures down 2.1% and flights in Europe down 4.4 %. The major players in the industry will only raise prices to stay profitable and the entire industry will follow.

But how do we remain competitive in this industry, if mid and small-sized companies don’t keep up with the big transnational corporations? More importantly, what will happen when clients have had enough and buy their own planes or settle for business class?

Some assets we can’t do without, such as spare parts or fuel. But there are others, including human capital that can be tackled in a different way.

Looking East begins to make sense now, but let’s not be over optimistic. It’s clear that Ukraine has neither the geographic or EU regulatory advantages of other Central European Nations, such as the Slovak or Czech Republics.


 Want a practical example of a good alliance?

An Operator based in Prague can have German-owned planes ready for departure to serve flights from Berlin. An MRO in Bratislava can offer savings up to 35% in maintenance costs to an Austrian operator based in Vienna. The right alliances are the key to success.

CEPA Expo provides a venue for meeting those who are key to the business and commercial aviation industry in the CEE region, face to face, synergistically. Prague, with its deep understanding and know-how for doing business in Central Europe, becomes a hub once each year to partner up with professionals in the field. CEPA provides that last elusive piece in the puzzle, to turn your business into a modern, efficient and competitive organization.


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