Dagmar Grossmann has over 30 years’ experience working in the private aviation sector. In 1991, Grossmann Air Service was launched in Vienna, with one aircraft, and Ms. Grossmann went on to help the company grow to become one of the leading aircraft management and operating companies in Europe. Ms. Grossmann also developed a worldwide aviation consulting business, advising aviation professionals on aircraft sales and acquisitions, as well as operational matters. In 2004, Ms. Grossmann launched Grossmann Jet Service (changed to G-Jet in 2015) in Prague, one of the first business aviation companies in the Czech Republic, and she has been the CEO of the company ever since. In 2009, Mrs. Grossmann founded the CEPA Association to help support the development of business aviation in the Central European region.
Why did you choose the Czech Republic for your business?
In 2004, the Czech Republic had great potential and the growth rate of the economy, as well as its geographical location was optimal for starting a business like this. It was a big challenge to develop the market and start up a service that was not available at the time in the way we set it up here.
Can you compare the situation on the business aviation market in the Czech Republic in 2004 when you started and now?
Being a pioneer meant that we had to face all the difficulties, such as finding the right suppliers, selecting the right team, making people understand our terms and conditions, but it is much easier for us now as we have a strong position on the market.
Where do you see the main advantages of the Czech market?
Geographically and from an economic perspective, it’s a modern and dynamic country, and a hub between Western and Eastern Europe, connecting the two markets into one.
Who are your main clients? What was the most difficult thing when you were starting the business here?
Our main clients don’t come from the Czech Republic, even though we are gaining more and more local customers. Our clientele is mainly businessmen, but our clients are also celebrities, state representatives and private persons. The biggest problems were clarifying the meaning of our business to people and explaining that using a private jet was not just a luxury tool. We had to make everybody understand what our services were about. After achieving that, our business started to grow immediately.
What would improve your business in the Czech Republic?What would be your suggestions to the Czech government for instance – do you see any really big disadvantages orproblems?
One of the biggest advantages for me here would be if the Czech Republic adopted the EURO; that would help us a lot in terms of internal work and international deals. Anything else is the same as abroad, which means that we must always be flexible and adjust to the market as fast as we can and come up with new ideas to win clients.
Since you are providing a very unique, luxury type of service and recently (due to the crisis) many corporations havebeen cutting their expenditures. Have you noticed any decrease in demand for your services?
It’s difficult to say whether there has been a real decrease.The markets have shifted. Russia is very quiet now for instance, but Europe is really picking up and the characteristics of flights have changed. People are looking more for cheaper solutions on short notice and we have to negotiate more, but business is still here.
CEPA and CEPA EXPO are one of your biggest projects in aviation. Could you please give us more details? What areyour expectations and how is the Czech Republic (as such) involved?
Our idea has always been to connect the East and the West in terms of business aviation, and such an association was missing in the area. CEPA offers all operators, future private jet clients or interested people a networking tool to get support, help or simply a huge amount of exchanged interest in the field of business aviation. The Central European business aviation market is very perspective, it has big potential to grow and the Czech Republic is part of it. In 2015 CEPA and EBAA (European Business Aviation Association) joined forces to create the CEPA Expo and EBAA Regional Forum, an event that brought together international business leaders and top-level executives from the world of corporate aviation to discuss the growth and development of corporate aviation in Central and Eastern Europe.
2016 weren’t easy for airlines around the globe that continue to struggle with ways of finding pilots to fill cockpit seats. 2017 is expected to be an even more pressing year, as Boeing, Airbus and other manufacturers keep accelerating their production, while the already small pool of qualified FOs and PICs grows at a significantly slower pace....
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