Michal Laboutka, Managing Director
It was March 11, 2020, when the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic. The turn of events was catastrophic. Countries worldwide were closing their borders for international and local travels to contain and manage the global health crisis stemming from the novel coronavirus. With such stringent restrictions coming to effect, stranded citizens appealed to governments to embark on citizen repatriation missions. This was a grave affair for the aviation industry. Metaphorically, only a few companies understood that flying through such turbulence entailed a sharp focus on the horizon.
One such company was Eclair Aviation. Since the onslaught of the pandemic, Eclair Aviation stepped up to contribute to repatriation initiatives actively. The Czech company helped dozens of clients from different parts of the world return to their homes and their loved ones—thanks to its unique and unrivalled tailormade services that made complex repatriation flights easier. In the late summer of 2020, Eclair Aviation obtained approval from the Czech Civil Aviation Authority to transport cargo under commercial air transport. “In a way, our business solution and services were the only possibility for them to get back home safely. During these flight operations, we ensured all the necessary precautions—equipping passengers and crews with face masks, gloves, hydroalcoholic gels, UPK (Universal precaution kit) and thermometers, disinfection and sanitisation of the aircraft and other measures—were taken to keep everyone safe. Once the vaccination was available, we got all our crews and staff vaccinated to provide nearly 99 percent protection from COVID-19. This, in turn, made us a highly safe company to work with,” says Michal Laboutka, managing director, Eclair Aviation. It was aweinspiring how the Eclair Aviation team demonstrated unwavering determination to provide top-notch aviation services with particular attention to the security of all the passengers and partners.
Eclair Aviation specialises in providing premium private charters and superior aircraft services such as aircraft management, business charters, aircraft sales, flight planning, consulting services, and more. On a mission to empower clients with top-class, tailored aviation services, Eclair Aviation is tapping on the increased demand for private air travel in the wake of travel restrictions and stayat- home norms. The company draws on years of deep and comprehensive experience in business and general aviation to provide aircraft operation and management services to large corporations, banks, financially healthy individuals, cultural and sports celebrities, and private aircraft owners that best suit their needs. With Eclair Aviation’s consulting services, clients can transform their “private aircraft from a luxury toy to an effective tool,” thereby driving business growth and saving time. Eclair Aviation is uniquely positioned to serve diverse customers as a private aircraft management and charter company focusing on operating business aircraft. “Eclair Aviation’s uniqueness stems from our territory; we are the one and only company offering the widest range of aircraft in our fleet— from Phenom 100 up to a large business jet Global 6000 by Bombardier.
This allows us to serve a range of products to all customers—be it a small client’s need for aircraft like Beechcraft King Air C-90 or a large corporation operating Global 6000 worldwide,” explains Laboutka.
Discover the Irreplaceable Advantage of Owning a Private Jet
With a focus on providing customised and innovative services in the business aviation market, Eclair Aviation delivers the highest standards of aircraft management and charter services that drive an unmatched flight experience for the most discerning travellers. Clients have come to rely on Eclair Aviation’s expert aircraft management services for operating and managing any private jet for both private and commercial purposes. Be it a business trip or vacation, the company customises the charter flight to the clients’ unique needs. It brings the best of both worlds: allowing clients to have more flexibility in planning and conducting individual flights in private operations and reducing costs while offering chartered flights to other clients through commercial operations.
However, buying or selling aircraft is not as easy as it seems, stresses Laboutka. “For most beginners in this territory, investment in an aircraft is like buying a more expensive car, but it is simply not true,” he adds. When buying or selling an aircraft, clients can trust the years of experience in the aviation industry—from the boardroom to the flight line—of Eclair Aviation’s specialists to drive the right decisions. These seasoned aviation professionals navigate clients through the process of acquiring and financing an aircraft and more. Be it for selling or purchasing any aircraft, Eclair Aviation’s team works closely with the clients to identify their requirements, evaluate their options and provide them with detailed information, guiding them to make the right choice that best suits their business mission and budget. “We can choose the right aircraft on the market—either from the manufacturer or the second-hand market. We also foster good connections and strong ties with several banks and financial institutions, which allow us to help them with financing of the aircraft,” adds Laboutka.
In contrast to other business aviation services companies, Eclair Aviation draws on experiences that have worked well in the past to solve complex challenges of clients and paint them a holistic picture, presenting both pros and cons for a given buy/sell situation. In doing so, the company ensures to have complete transparency with the client right from the word go. Laboutka informs, “We are really open regarding the annual budget for the services provided. A lot of other companies offer and promise a fortune coming from operating the aircraft, but that’s far from the truth. One can partly cover some fixed costs, but it’s definitely not the business tool to create money.”
To add more perspective, Laboutka cites a customer story that involved a successful entrepreneur who owned a Pilatus PC-12 and was interested in acquiring a new aircraft. After much deliberation, the Eclair Aviation team understood the client’s requirements and provided recommendations and an annual budget. Filled with scepticism, the client was not prepared to invest heavily in a new aircraft and decided to wait for a couple of years before buying it. This is precisely when Laboutka arrested the client’s thoughts with an exciting possibility. “How about buying some super-light jet like Cessna Citation XLS on a pre-owned market? I asked. While the dimensions of this aircraft are quite similar to the PC 12, the speed, comfort, noise level and other factors are totally different,” recalls Laboutka. It was only a matter of looking through the figures and a few demo flights with XLS, and the client was both amazed and convinced. He signed the contract for buying the aircraft while he was still on board.
At the core of such successful customer stories lies an innate capability to customise services to client’s needs. Since its inception in 2012, customisation has been the key to Eclair Aviation’s continued success. The various services that the company offers are delivered as single a package, including after-sales service, technical maintenance and support services, customised and tailored to the needs of each client. These customised services have been instrumental in creating unique experiences for clients and pushing the company towards active differentiation. Yet another winning differentiator of Eclair Aviation is that it goes beyond conventional aircraft management services and makes its entirely private-owned aircraft available for chartering to third parties.
With humble beginnings, Eclair Aviation embarked on its journey in the business aviation market with a promising “principle of five,” whereby the company aimed to have five aircraft in its portfolio and up to 50 employees in the coming five years. Eight years in, the company has a portfolio of six aircraft and negotiating for three more. With an aim to have ten aircraft in its portfolio, Eclair Aviation looks forward to operating with a greater number of aircraft.