News & Blog
(TV) Jung Sky captains talk about what it's like to be a business aviation pilot
In March 2021, our two captains Kresimir Jung and Filip Schnaidar were guests on the Croatian national television (HRT) where they talked about 'the everyday' of a business aviation pilot. You can check out their TV appearance in a YouTube video down below and if you don't speak Croatian, we've extracted some of the highlights further below.
(Capt. Kresimir Jung, about business aviation in general)
Each flight is unique and there are no fixed weekly or monthly flight schedules like with big commercial airlines. Each day, the timetable is different and it's based on our clients’ requests. The benefits of this type of air travel are well recognized in USA and most European countries, but maybe not so much here in Croatia - although we're slowly getting there.
The main features of the business aviation service, and basically what attracts people to it the most, are privacy and comfort. In most cases there are 1-3 passengers inside our jet and they don't need to arrive at the airport an hour and a half before the flight. They usually pass through an isolated part of the airport called 'GAT' (General Aviation Terminal) where they can freshen up a bit if they need to, then they board the plane and usually 10-15 minutes after their arrival to the airport – we’re airborne. Also, a very important feature of the business aviation service is that you always fly directly to your destination.
(Capt. Filip Schnaidar, about what a working week of a business aviation pilot looks like)
We don't have classic working weeks which start on Mondays or end on Fridays and our working hours are not from 8 am to 4 pm. Depending on the needs and wishes of our clients, our shift can start at any time of the day - or night for that matter.
One of the more significant factors that generally determines what our week looks like is seasonality. During summer months, the demand for business aviation services is very, very high and, in that period, our sales department manages to fill our schedule well in advance, so we definitely have some idea of what awaits us and which destinations we’re flying to. In winter months, the demand can be more sporadic. We know where we're going today and maybe tomorrow, but sometimes a new flight gets sold while we're in the air and our operations department is calling us just as we've landed saying “sorry guys, you're not done for today, you have another flight in a couple of hours.“
(Capt. Kresimir Jung, about the advantages of being a pilot in business aviation)
For young pilots, this is a very interesting part of aviation because our flights involve a large number of different airports and destinations. For example, in his or her first year, a young Jung Sky co-pilot can be flying to approximately 150 or even 200 airports across Europe, the Mediterranean and northern Africa. In business aviation, the process of learning and sharpening your skills goes very fast. Everything is very dynamic, you have several landings and take offs a day so you become very well trained in a very short period of time.
One other thing that is interesting, not just for young pilots – but for the captains as well, is that you get to visit almost every country that is part of your flight operations and you have sleepovers in many different cities, some of which you get to know pretty well.
(Capt. Filip Schnaidar, about the challenges and set of skills a BA pilot must possess)
It is really a challenge for every pilot to get a professional pilot's license. It’s definitely a process you have to dedicate yourself to completely, both financially and in terms of being patient. Pilot training is not cheap which is why so many pilots are still in the process of repaying their bank loans when they get their license and their first jobs.
One of the most important characteristics of a person who’s a pilot in business aviation – is flexibility, given that we cover a large number of destinations and there are many changes in our daily or weekly schedule. Furthermore, BA pilots are very much involved in the whole operation. Since we can’t have the support of our company on airports that are out of our home base, we ourselves have to do all the pre-flight and post-flight activities. Specifically, we have to clean and prepare the aircraft between flights, we have to take care of the documentation, we have to supply the aircraft with consumables and – one thing that is very important in these times of Covid – we have to disinfect the aircraft after each flight in order to protect the health of our passengers as much as possible.
Also, since we’re in very close contact and communication with our passengers, it’s good to possess some customer service skills. We’re always face to face with the passengers and achieving good rapport with them is extremely important.
(Capt. Kresimir Jung, about the celebrities on board)
We’ve had all types of celebrities on board. Singers, actors, athletes, politicians… But the general rule we know to be true after all these years is – the ‘bigger’ the celebrity, the easier and simpler it is to work and cooperate with him or her.
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