News & Blog
COO Kresimir Vlasic: Patience and long term planning pay off for Jung Sky
NOTE: The original article published in the September edition of Business Air News and can be found HERE.
Four months after the addition of a third CJ2 to its fleet, Jung Sky is starting to ride the ‘growth wave’ everyone at the company was talking about four years ago when Kresimir Vlasic left the COO position at Croatian flag carrier Croatia Airlines to take over the same position at Jung Sky.
“One very particular reason Jung Sky owners decided to bring me in was fleet expansion, and consequently the long-term expansion of our flight operations and our team,” Jung Sky’s Chief Operating Officer Kresimir Vlasic reflects. However, three months after his arrival, WHO declared the COVID-19 pandemic and the company’s plans to grow the fleet came to a pretty big halt. The pandemic turned the aviation industry upside down, Vlasic continues, and very soon business jets became the no.1 commodity on the market because of business aviation’s flexibility in the pandemic circumstances.
Jung Sky, Vlasic states, was faced with two major challenges. “The first one was that there were little to none CJ2s available for purchase. The other challenge were the prices which pretty much exploded. That, as you can imagine, was not a great starting point for a company that was at that moment built and prepared for a three-jet fleet, but was still flying with two jets in a very specific moment in history that changed everything.”
It took approximately one year for them to find the right aircraft, but the management knew patience, clear vision and communication with their team were of key importance. “In late 2022 we had a big meeting with all of our employees during which we elaborated everything we are doing in terms of moving our company forward. We discussed fleet situation, new hirings, raising salaries, the development of our own maintenance organization etc.”
“Aircraft prices were still much higher than we originally anticipated, but we knew the acclaimed quality of our service and the expertise of our team are a strong foundation for our long-term planning and growth no matter what the circumstances are. Looking back, I am proud to say that, from the moment the 9A-JSE became a strong possibility for purchase, we achieved everything the company’s board and myself promised our employees on that meeting and we did it in a fast and efficient fashion.”
Today, Jung Sky employs 31 people, the most it ever had since 2009 when the company was founded. Nine new people have joined the company after the third aircraft was added to the fleet in late April, five of them were first officers, one captain, two people in OCC and one person in sales.
In July and August 2023 and compared to the same time period last year, the company achieved a 16,7 percent increase in flights with passengers.
Jung Sky also established its own aircraft maintenance organization, able to meet any line maintenance requirements for jet types Cessna 525, 525A and 525B. They currently have two line-maintenance stations, one at Zagreb Airport and one, with a hangar, at Varazdin Airport where the company soon plans to start base maintenance certification.
“We are not a big company and we still do not have a large fleet, but this addition of one more CJ2, one of the most sought-after business jets out there, boosts the strength of this company on so many levels. Our very successful summer this year confirms that. So, I would say long-term planning is necessary and important, but it is even more important to be patient and persistent. Even if things do not always go your way, you must trust the process and wait for the storm to pass because eventually - you will get another opportunity to be successful and achieve your long-term goals. Aviation is like that, it’s hard and miraculous at the same time,” Jung Sky’s Chief Operating Officer Kresimir Vlasic concludes.
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