Describing A-Group’s position in the business aviation market, Public Relations Manager Oleg Ivanov says: “We have a strong lead, owning FBOs in Moscow and St Petersburg, and offering an individual approach to every passenger while adhering to our core values: safety, confidentiality and high-quality service delivery.”
Through the second half of 2017 and into the beginning of this year, A-Group undertook a sizeable infrastructure development programme in preparation for the 2108 FIFA World Cup. With an already increasing number of flights and high demand for aircraft parking and hangarage, the A-Group management team decided to build a new business and private aircraft apron at Moscow Sheremetyevo International Airport.
The work is complete and the apron ready to receive football stars and their fans in June. With 26 aircraft parking spaces, it’s close to the VIP terminal and conveniently positioned for taxiway and runway access, ensuring take-off in good order; a new hangar and A-Group’s helipad are also close by. The 16,500m2 hangar complex accommodates up to 30 mid-size jets and the hangars are equipped with modern utilities and fail-safe security systems. They incorporate storage units and there is also office space for airline representatives and airfield services.
Meanwhile, the apron at the company’s Pulkovo FBO at St Petersburg has also seen work and now offers 35 new parking spaces capable of accommodating aircraft as large as the Airbus A380.
Sheremetyevo, Russia’s largest and most developed airport, has received multiple awards for its best-in-Europe punctuality and service. It is also the closest of Moscow’s airports to the city centre and boasts the best access – a pleasant drive along the new high-speed M11 highway. Arrival by helicopter is a more elegant option, however, via the dedicated helipad next door to the VIP terminal. A-Group was the first FBO in Russia to offer a helicopter transfer service.
Designed and built to the highest standards, Sheremetyevo’s Terminal A is believed to be the most modern business aviation facility in Russia. With an eye to the future, it facilitates exceptional service for passengers and crew, while customers regularly reach their aircraft’s steps just a couple of minutes after leaving their car, even while competing all the pre-flight formalities.
Bright with natural light, the spacious halls of the ground floor house two check-in desks; two customs, border and passport control booths, for departures and arrivals; and a duty-free store. The gourmet restaurant upstairs offers panoramic views of the airfield and aircraft movements.
Customers with urgent business to complete have a choice of VIP rooms, while the grand conference room is equipped for press meetings, presentations and briefings, all of which can be held in complete privacy. Meanwhile, crews aren’t forgotten, since all the amenities are available for them to be rested and prepared ready for flight. Showers and changing facilities are available, along with free coffee and access to all the information required for preflight briefing.
Sheremetyevo also incorporates several world-renowned network hotels, including Radisson Blu, Sheraton, Novotel, Holiday Inn and Park Inn, for customers spending a little more time at the airport, while A-Group’s FBO is fully integrated into its day-to-day workflow. This integration ensures seamless slot allocation and the best possible flight punctuality.
A-Group’s St Petersburg terminal celebrated its fifth anniversary in March 2018. Known as Pulkovo Terminal A, it was built in 1951 to plans by architect Alexander Gegello, then renovated for A-Group in 2013. Historical design and details have been carefully preserved, but at the same time modern technologies ensuring comfort, safety and security were installed. Today it offers spacious lounges, meeting rooms and a large conference room, impressively finished in marble.
A dedicated helipad close to the terminal makes for easy transfer between helicopter and jet, with most rotary flights heading out to Estonia, Finland, Karelia or Latvia.
A-Group has two St Petersburg hangars, capable of taking as many as 12 mid-size jets. The renewed apron is suitable for aircraft as large as the Boeing 747 BBJ.
Handling with Care
Meeting allocated take-off times is particularly important and to minimise delay, A-Group operates its own ground handling, providing a full range of services including de-icing and cleaning, washing, towing, refuelling, ground power supply, crew transport, catering and supervisor services.
A-Group is actually the official provider of de-icing at Sheremetyevo Airport, with a fleet of 12 specialist vehicles. Thus, it serves not only business jets, but also airliners and freighters.
Over 12 years of operations, A-Group has built the largest business aviation infrastructure in Russia and become a serious and respected player in the international market – it welcomes business aviation professionals to visit its EBACE booth at location B75, to learn more about its operations and what it has to offer.
Recognising that Russia will become an international football mecca in June, Nadezhda Turovskaya, A-Group’s Public Relations and Marketing Director, comments: “I’m proud that we have a part in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, a landmark event for our country. Our customers will include honoured guests visiting the event, FIFA officials and, of course, teams. It will be a serious test for our FBOs, and I’m certain that we’ll deliver. At the same time, we’ll continue improving the quality and efficiency of our services.”