July 5, 2017:
Austria-based International Jet Management (IJM) has added a number of aircraft this year, including a G650, a Global 6000, two Learjet 45s and an Embraer 135. The G650 and Global are new types for the company, and ground operations manager Bill Diakonis says that the aircraft have become the 'jewels' of the IJM fleet, appealing especially to Middle Eastern customers.
“Some of our missions can be be very demanding because of the complexity of flying in the Middle East,” he explains. “If you have a short notice flight, it takes a lot of effort to obtain the necessary permits. For a flight from Vienna to Zurich we can be ready to fly in less than an hour, but for the Middle East you need to get overflight permits, landing permits and preferential routings. Our dispatch department is kept very busy making that happen.” Besides its fleet of Gulfstream, Bombardier and Embraer aircraft, IJM manages Dassault and Cessna types. “We are very well acquainted with these and our CAMO and flight ops have accumulated a vast amount of expertise on these types over the last few years.”
According to Diakonis, the big reason for the company's success is its reputation and family feel, instigated by CEO Felix Feller. “He is a well-known and trusted businessman. If clients are trusting us with their private jet, an asset of enormous magnitude, they need to know that Mr. Feller's word counts, and it does.
“Everybody has the utmost respect for Felix and everybody gives their best for him, because he is a down to earth person. When he comes to the office you can speak with him like one of your fellow colleagues. He is not the sort of boss who turns up and everyone tries to avoid.”
Diakonis anticipates further acquisitions before the year is out, and will be tasked with ensuring that the new aircraft transition smoothly into the company. “New clients come with new demands, because every-body has their preferences,” he continues. “We have to adapt to the needs of the client and not vice versa. The good thing with IJM is that we have a moderate-sized fleet where our clients still retain their identity. They are not just a number on a statistic sheet. They can have access to any of our personnel at any time, from the top management down.
“When we grow we have to be ready for it and not sacrifice quality of service for the sake of numbers. And that is our trademark.”
Back in February, IJM added a factory-new Challenger 650 to its AOC, the first of its type to be commercially available for ad hoc charter in Austria. The Challenger has a Lufthansa Networked Integrated Cabin Equipment CMS, wi-fi and a range of other air to ground technologies. “Everyone that has experienced the aircraft since we acquired it has been amazed,” says MD Robert Schmölzer.