Madrid, Barcelona, Málaga, Palma de Mallorca, Valencia, Granada, Gerona, Ibiza and Alicante, sound tempting and call for some vacation. 40 exciting years of experience, FBO services in Spain and nearly one hundred highly qualified professionals, this is a brief description of who are General Aviation Services. To have a better picture of how business aviation is doing in Spain, we had an amazing positive discussion with Evgeny Shadov, Commercial director of General Aviation Services.
Q. First impressions after Day 1 of EBACE 2023?
E.S. It is a good impression. It was a very busy day, we are always expecting this first day. We are exhibiting each year at EBACE and this time as usual it was exciting. A lot of people were getting late, because of what happened yesterday… with delayed flights and so. But in general – a very good response from our customers as well as just from people who were stepping by.
Q. Obvious question – how business aviation is doing in Spain?
E.S. Good question – Spain it is a great destination, mostly tourism and leisure one. The year 2022 was a booming one in business aviation as you remember Spain was almost all the time on the TOP of the list on statistics. Now we are doing good. But I can. Tell that winter 20222/2023 was a little bit concerning for us. Volumes dropped to pre-pandemic volumes. So, we were asking ourselves – what is happening right now. I think some new trends are coming on the market, especially in Spain. For example – normally high season starts for us on second part of May, but this year we started this high season already in March.
Q. Talking about sustainable aviation would you agree that we should finally speak loud about efforts of business aviation towards sustainability?
E.S. Thank you Tatiana, it is a very good question. Yesterday I was reading some articles in magazines and our industry, our sector, business aviation was called “climate criminals”. I was offended by this. We all know that environmental issues and sustainability goals were raised some years ago. Our niche in aviation was the first one to put all necessary efforts. Industry leaders started by investigation what can be done different and implementation of measures. I think we are doing a great job. We are doing all we can. In Spain we are under very strict rules and regulations of airport and authorities. So, we must be green as much as possible. As an FBO, as handling agent we’ve moved to 100% electric vehicles, we adapted some new ecofriendly practices in our daily life, daily operations including offices. We are close to obtain ISO 14001 certification. It is very important for us, we want to show our customers, people, the world, that we are concerned about and we are doing whatever is in our hands to improve.
Q. Do you think we as an industry are communicating enough, are telling enough about our efforts? Do we have to explain more in details investments in future technologies, how it is changing everyday life and operations? Should we communicate in a different way and change the perception of business aviation?
E.S. I think we definitely should! We are doing a great job. If you go true LinkedIn, the number of announcements daily from regarding steps they are taking and adopting to reach the sustainability goal. But I think we should do more. Even if social media is a crucial part, maybe we should do not only that. Everyone should talk, explain, what exactly we do, to show and share numbers, and repeat and repeat. Maybe EBAA and NBAA should provide more information true other channels.
Q. What is the actual situation with future aviators in Spain? Do you have enough of people dreaming to work in aviation or do you need more?
E.S. We have, but we definitely need more! I am an aviation enthusiast. I’ve been in aviation for many years. I’ve been working in commercial aviation, then I found my true passion – business aviation. It is an incredible world. Handling and FBOs, we are one of the most important parts of the general travel experience chain. We are people giving the first smile to passengers and crew members. First impression… Yes, we do need more people in aviation, more people passioned about aviation. When I am doing interviews for new staff members, before discussion about the salary and work conditions etc. I am always telling – you must be in love with aviation. If you are not yet, you just must spend a couple of days on the ramp, by aircraft and you will fall in love with aviation. It is a dynamic, fresh, incredible world, so many young people are in the industry. You can see it here at EBACE. Young people on TOP positions in companies are bringing new approach to all tasks we have in industry, one of them the environmental one. Aviation is a great world, so please come and join us!
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