We decided to visit Jung Sky - mostly a self-contained, but above all, successful airline that has been conquering its slice of the sky for 10 years. It is out of sight for many, perhaps since it's an airline that operates business jets only. So, for an average traveller it goes under the radar.
On this day, Jung Sky has 2 Cessna 525A CJ2 aircraft in the fleet, and great ambitions for its expansion and refurbishment. Only 10 years ago, it began with no more than Cessna 172.
We spoke with the owners and founders of the company, Krešimir and Vedran Jung, about the history, present, and plans for the future of this airline.
Can you introduce us to Jung Sky?
„10 years ago, we dared to set up an airline, after which we began negotiations with the banks to finance our first aircraft, Cessna 172. This aircraft served us for panoramic flights, from Brač during the summer, and from Zagreb in winter. 10 years ago it was a little funny to see when our Cessna arrived, "packed" in a container, with its wings disassembled. Almost no one could have imagined that we would grow into a serious airline.“
How did your fleet develop?
„Eight years ago, we acquired the first jet, Cessna CJ, which we began to arrange business flights with. At first, we were an unknown company with no reputation, but over time, we started getting more and more flights. Eventually, we were a situation where one jet was not enough for us. Then we went into new negotiations with the banks about financing another aircraft and after a while, a second aircraft has arrived while we sold the first one. These two Cessnas 525A CJ2s serve us well today, but the problem is they are not designed for such frequent flights. These aircraft are designed for private business flights, scheduled to operate between 400 and 500 hours of flight time per year, and our aircraft generates 700 and even up to 900 hours of flight time. That is why we find ourselves in a situation in which aircraft are often in maintenance. For this reason, and because of the need for significant increase in the level of service, we are currently in the process of purchasing the Embraer Legacy 600, which we plan to bring into our fleet in spring or early summer next year.“
Are you looking at Embraer Legacy 600 as a fleet upgrade or renewal? How do you plan on introducing a new model to the fleet?
„In the long run, certainly as a replacement for the existing CJ2s. However, for the first summer season or maybe two, we will be doing two Cessnas and Legacy operations in parallel, followed by the acquisition of another Legacy and a gradual fleet renewal. When it comes to introducing a new type of aircraft into the fleet, it takes a lot of time, patience, paperwork and of course, finance. This will be the first Embraer in Croatian aircraft registry, which is quite complicated since the initial entry of the aircraft type into the registry and the AOC require additional requirements. The introduction of Embraer into the fleet will also require an increase in staff. We currently have 28 employees, and we plan to hire another 10 people, mainly crew and support staff.“
Croatian public does not often see your planes in Croatia. Can you tell us what your most frequent routes or cities are?
„The airports we see most often are Nice and Rome. Italy somehow stands out with the largest number of flights. In summer, we often fly along the Greek and Turkish coasts, and in Europe. Except Nice and Rome, we most often fly to Milan, London, Venice, Barcelona, Paris, Munich, Berlin, Geneva, Zurich, Prague, etc. We often do not fly to primary airports but to those intended primarily for general aviation. It is worth mentioning that we have recently had the longest flight in company history, from Malta to Belfast.“
What is the profile of your passengers?
„It is mostly business clientele, but often we fly actors, athletes, singers and many other names of the European and world scene. We have recently had the pleasure of flying Sting, Andrea Bocelli, Keanu Reeves, Kit Harington, Jamie Foxx, our Luka Modrić and many others. Most often it turns out that they are simple people, very polite and approachable, and we must say that they are always in the mood for taking pictures with the crew.“
What does a service look like in a "businessjet"?
„The passenger usually flies from general aviation terminals that are separated from the main passenger terminals. From there, the passenger is transported to the aircraft where it is greeted with a personalized service. As a standard, our passengers are offered drinks, snacks, wines and even champagne. Additionally, passenger can order catering or special food and beverage service. Passenger does not stay unnecessarily at the airport, either on arrival or on departure, and there is no contact with crowds and often arduous check-in processes. Also, security is significantly simplified and expedited security checks apply, which is certainly an added convenience.“
Do you have cabin crew onboard your planes?
„Not for now. There are 6 seats in our Cessna so there are no available seats for flight attendants. But with the introduction of Embraer in the fleet, we will definitely be introducing cabin crew as well. For now, the duties of flight attendants on ground are performed by the captain and the first officer, and in the air, the passenger can stand up and take everything needed from our galley.“
Cessna CJ2 is certified for one pilot operations. How do you perform flights in this regard?
„Although Cessna CJ2 is certified for single-pilot operations, all our pilots are trained for multi-crew operations, as this is mandatory when flying commercially. In other words, we have a captain and a first officer on every flight.“
Can you explain to us how you function in terms of flight operations, from sales to conducting flight itself?
„Most often we sell flights through "brokers" or agents that deal with the organization of private flights. We work closely with about 30 brokerage companies. We also have regular clients who first contact us directly for flight, and if our aircraft is unavailable, they turn to brokers. Almost every day we do one to five flights per plane. This last December 2019, our schedule was full up to 95%, which also speaks to the growth of the company, since there are no more differences between summer and winter seasons. In terms of flight operations, we have our own dispatch and operations center, flight sales department, logistics service, and we have our own maintenance department.“
Do you happen to encounter prejudices about "small" planes?
„We recently had a case while flying Luka Modrić to Rijeka. We have commenced approach shortly after the majority of the storm had passed, while in the distance, one could still see cumulonimbus and thunder. Although everything was done according to the procedure, the media reported that we were struggling to land the aircraft, and that we have sent a „small plane“ to the captain of the Croatian football team. The wind was blowing only 10 knots, and due to the demanding approach to the LDRI, it seemed to passengers that things were out of control. However, everything was done according to procedure and without any unexpected or uncontrolled situations. Contrary to the impression that media articles created at the time, the size of the aircraft had nothing to do with its behavior in bad weather. Large aircraft are more inert due to their mass, but they also have a center of gravity, in which the aircraft is most stable, much further away from the tail and nose than is the case with "small" jets. So Luka could have flown a bigger plane then, but he would feel the same turbulence, if not greater. I would also like to point out that everything done here is even more strict than standard procedures, and the safety of passengers and crew is, of course, in the first place, far ahead of everything else.“
Below we bring you a photo gallery of Jung Sky Cessna CJ2 aircraft. We personally witnessed the luxury of such a small planes, from the comfort of the seats, large windows, and also the fact that the entire plane is reserved "for you".
We must admit that after frequent visits to large cockpits of commercial aircraft, it was a real refreshment to hop into the CJ2 cockpit. This small cockpit has its charms, the pilot has a sense of connection with the aircraft and everything is in your hand reach.
Only the thought of one day soaring up in the sky with this 'little guy' impresses us, because we can only imagine what a different sensation of a flight this "different" class of aircraft can offer.
At the end, we would like to thank Jung Sky for the visit and a pleasant conversation. We would like to express special thanks to Krešimir and Vedran Jung, as well as to PR Manager Marko Hodalj.
Foto © AvioRadar