By Fred Vergnères
Created in 2013 by Dr. Vitaly Arkhangelskiy, political refugee in France, the family company Jet.Paris has experienced in recent years a significant expansion of its activities. A look back at a Franco-Russian success story that is being exported beyond France.
Initially a brokerage company mainly focused on the market in relation with the Eastern countries, Jet.Paris(Cofrance) was able to take advantage of its know-how and its network to diversify its offer. Vitaly Arkhangelskiy, who has been based in Nice for 13 years, started out in the aircraft insurance and financing business before launching his own brokerage company.
Originally from St. Petersburg, the choice of the south of France, first and foremost a personal one, quickly proved to be an opportunity for Dr. Arkhangelskiy to develop his own business in a region particularly appreciated by Russian/ Ukrainian speaking customers. «We have developed little by little by becoming over the years members of the EBAA, the NBAA, ARGUS, WYVERN and then Avinode… Our profile was from the beginning quite different from other companies because we wanted to impose a very high quality service to a very demanding clientele that does not necessarily speak English. We quickly obtained ISO certifications to reinforce the standards of our services. »
With his experience in the aeronautical industry, the manager and his sons have gone beyond the requirements of a simple air broker by developing a dedicated multilingual booking application for iPhone entirely focused on the services offered by the company.
The HondaJet’s choice
But in order not to be limited to its role as a broker, Jet.Paris chose to develop its own fleet of aircraft so as not to constantly depend on other operators and to be able to control the entire chain of high-end services. A change of course realized by the manager born in Alma-Ata during the Covid crisis: « This pandemic forced me to rethink my way of working and not to depend only on other operators ». After a first experience of managing an HA-420 for an owner in 2020, the choice naturally fell on the HondaJet: « With our activity as a broker we knew exactly which type of aircraft was the most suitable for our customers’ demands, which proved to be even more true during the Covid pandemic period ».
Vitaly is particularly enthusiastic about the aircraft and the fact that he is the only charter operator to use the twin-engine Honda. « With five aircraft in service, Jet.Paris is the largest owner of the aircraft in the world and we are currently the only charter operator of the HondaJet in Europe. Our fleet is almost new, which allows us to compete in the market with aircraft that are ten to fifteen years old. »
Customer feedback on the HondaJet has been very positive, as Vitaly Arkhangelskiy points out: « Customers appreciate not only the lines but also the comfort of this aircraft, which has a large cabin and on-board toilets, which is not the case for all aircraft in this segment. »
With these advantages, Jet.Paris is able to operate the aircraft beyond the conventional one- to two-hour flights, as the owner points out: « We may operate the aircraft to destinations such as Dubai or Tel Aviv. The fact that we have to make one or two technical stops is not a hindrance for many customers who prefer to go for a more economical choice than using an aircraft of a much higher category and not necessarily more comfortable. »
Jet.Paris claims this approach and even evokes « a questioning of part of the market with the use of this type of aircraft on distances higher than two hours. » Because of its specificity, « the aircraft is as much operable for two passengers as for a whole family while remaining in an affordable price range. »
A French international luxury service
As a charter operator, Vitaly states that « the HondaJet remains one of the most economical aircraft on the market with unmatched flexibility. » Registered in France and based at Cannes airport, the five HondaJets are also all operated by French crews. A « guarantee of confidence » according to Vitaly, which allows him to meet the demands of various customers « from the French political class to personalities from the world of entertainment and sports. We have a loyal and varied client base from the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany and of course the Baltic States. And more. » Paradoxically, Covid has allowed Jet.Paris to develop a new clientele based in the south of France and Monaco and not used to business aviation in general. The complexity of travel during the Covid period and the closure of commercial routes on certain sections, allowed « to promote the transport by private jet for people who would not have come naturally » underlines the French grown in Saint Petersburg. Jet.Paris also indicated that it organized special repatriation missions during this period, especially at the beginning of the pandemic.
With 55 languages spoken by its teams spread between its offices in France Ukraine and Turkey, Jet.Paris claims to be primarily French but with an international and targeted approach to its clientele. As such, and has the image of some operators abroad, Jet Paris can pride itself on being the only company with its own offices in the business airport terminals of Nice, Cannes and St Tropez. In order to better serve its customers, the head of Jet.Paris strives to offer a high-end service adapted to the nationality of its customers. « We organize on board our aircraft, with our hostesses, a real service in perfect adequacy with the image of French luxury sought after throughout the world. Champagne, fine wines and high-end gastronomic specialties are part of the Jet.Paris brand’s identity references, especially for its foreign customers who “beyond flying in exceptional comfort, want to experience French luxury »says Dr. Vitaly Arkhangelskiy.
The selection of services goes beyond the cabin, as Jet.Paris is also very attentive to the service provided by the FBO and the concierge services specially selected around the world to meet the needs of passengers. Responsiveness, service, high standards and discretion are certainly the four words that best sum up this French company with a Russian & Ukrainian accent. With its strong development, Jet.Paris, through its manager, should turn a new page in its history in the near future. In order to offer a service more in line with its customers, the manager indicates that he wants to strengthen « the development of its fleet with aircraft of higher segments. » The idea of staying on the HondaJetis obviously part of the options, especially with the new version of the aircraft presented in 2021 at NBAA, the HondaJet 2600. However, Vitaly Arkhangelskiy could also look at Textron or Embraer to find the ideal solution for the sustainable development of Jet.Paris. To be continued.