Sebastian Kurz's excursions in the “Oligarch Jet” ...

Sebastian Kurz (Photo: BKA / Dragan Tatic).
Sebastian Kurz (Photo: BKA / Dragan Tatic).

Sebastian Kurz's excursions in the “Oligarch Jet” ...

Sebastian Kurz (Photo: BKA / Dragan Tatic).
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Austria's Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) seems to have missed travel particularly badly, because in the last few weeks he has been jetting through the world more often with the private jet. The population is kept from traveling abroad by means of forced quarantine and scary words. So much for Zack-Zack's claims. What is really behind it?

Of course, Kurz does not need a test or quarantine when he re-enters Austria, because Rudolf Anschober (Greens) has of course not forgotten the exception for government members. It seems obscure, however, that Kurz, who always preached "stay home" in a "difficult phase" of the pandemic according to his health minister, no longer uses video conferences, but flies through the world in private jets at the expense of taxpayers. Mind you, in his role as head of government and not privately for fun.

On March 4, 2021, Zack Zack saw it as a “crooked look” because he is said to have “picked up” the OE-IRK from his visit to Israel. The machine is operated by Avcon Jet AG and it was actually a completely normal flight. The Zack Zack portal operated by Peter Pilz “revealed” that the said business jet is owned by a Ukrainian oligarch named Dmytro Firtash. The United States made an extradition request to Austria a long time ago, but no decision has been made on it to date. This is supposed to be a big scandal, but strictly speaking it is hot air that has been “inflated” politically motivated.

In the report, numerous relationships that go as far as Wirecard are presented. The Chancellery is quoted as saying: “It is an absolutely standard procedure to book individual flights through companies like Avcon Jet. Who owns the respective aircraft is beyond our knowledge and is of no further relevance ”. The representation of the authority is absolutely understandable why Zack Zack wants to make political capital out of it, but not.

Business jets in management do not have a "crooked look"

Avcon Jet AG is an aviation company specializing in the implementation of flights on demand. It is common in the industry for business jet owners to give their machines to such companies for management. If the owner does not need his aircraft himself, it is used by customers for charter flights. This reduces the costs that are incurred and can, but need not, also be profitable. Many wealthy people from Eastern Europe have machines in the management of Austrian business jet operators.

The Zack Zack portal, operated by Peter Pilz, withholds an important detail: The OE-IRK was not specially “flown in”, instead an Austrian delegation traveled to Tel Aviv with it. The Federal Chancellor was only on board this machine on the return flight. For the outward journey he used a “flight community” with Denmark. The charter flight was carried out as part of a booking by the Chancellery, whereby several offers were obtained from airline companies. Austria does not maintain a government fleet, but charter aircraft if necessary, which is cheaper for the taxpayer. The flight orders are awarded to the provider with the best price-performance ratio, so another provider can get charter after charter.

The ownership of a machine should not really play a role when an operator conducts a charter flight. In scheduled aviation, too, the operator and owner often do not agree, but no Austrian airline has ever been chalked up to have leased aircraft from a particular instructor. In this respect, the report of the Pilz portal can be seen as politically motivated. Unfortunately also to the chagrin of the Avcon jet crews.

5 Comments

  • Horst, 19. March 2021 @ 11: 36

    Political bashing at its finest once again. Thought that was an aviation portal?

  • Hotshot, 19. March 2021 @ 13: 01

    Who actually “belongs” to the plane will hardly have played a role in flight planning, just the required range and availability. Mr. Flirtasch has his plane OPERATED by AvconJet; It doesn't matter who is sitting in there, the main thing is that the operating costs are distributed.
    Are you now political agitators like Mr. Pilz or something? For decades, Mr. Pilz has been spreading half-truths and opinions instead of facts about the armed forces, Eurofighters, etc. And his “portal” is now a credible source for AvD?

    • Jan Gruber, 19. March 2021 @ 13: 08

      I kindly ask you to read the text after the subheading and especially the last two sentences carefully:

      In this respect, the Pilz Portal report can be seen as politically motivated. Unfortunately also to the chagrin of the Avcon jet crews.

      The upper part of the report should represent Pilz's claims and the lower part that there is nothing relevant behind them.

      Apparently I did not succeed in juxtaposing claims and reality. I'm sorry.

      • Hotshot, 19. March 2021 @ 13: 13

        Perhaps the headline was not helpful in classifying the text immediately ...
        “Claimed” or something like that immediately leads the reader on the right track.
        My problem with this is that the mass media will also read your articles and thereby jump on these unqualified claims. With these things "hushing up" is probably more effective.
        Still, thanks for the feedback; I take everything back and claim the opposite ... 😉

        • Jan Gruber, 19. March 2021 @ 13: 29

          Hello Hotshot & Horst,

          You don't have to take anything back at allbecause I believe that the Criticism was and is absolutely justified. I stand by the fact that I didn't succeed in the balancing act between “that's what Zack Zack says” and “that's really behind it”. That is a fact that I do not deny, but instead admit that I did not succeed.

          For this reason I have given the article an update and also formulated more clearly in the upper part what I as the editor actually wanted to show the text. My message should be that "not even a mosquito" should be turned into a political elephant. I hope I did better this time.

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Editor of this article:

Jan Gruber is Senior Editor at Aviation.Direct. Before that, he had held the same position at AviationNetOnline (formerly Austrian Aviation Net) since 2012. He specializes in low-cost carriers, regional aviation in the DA-CH region and in-depth research.

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About the editor

Jan Gruber is Senior Editor at Aviation.Direct. Before that, he had held the same position at AviationNetOnline (formerly Austrian Aviation Net) since 2012. He specializes in low-cost carriers, regional aviation in the DA-CH region and in-depth research.

Nobody likes paywalls
- not even Aviation.Direct!

Information should be free for everyone, but good journalism costs a lot of money.

If you enjoyed this article, you can check Aviation.Direct voluntary for a cup of coffee Coffee trail (for them it's free to use).

In doing so, you support the journalistic work of our independent specialist portal for aviation, travel and tourism with a focus on the DA-CH region voluntarily without a paywall requirement.

If you did not like the article, we look forward to your constructive criticism and / or your suggestions for improvement, either directly to the editor or to the team at with this link or alternatively via the comments.

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5 Comments

  • Horst, 19. March 2021 @ 11: 36

    Political bashing at its finest once again. Thought that was an aviation portal?

  • Hotshot, 19. March 2021 @ 13: 01

    Who actually “belongs” to the plane will hardly have played a role in flight planning, just the required range and availability. Mr. Flirtasch has his plane OPERATED by AvconJet; It doesn't matter who is sitting in there, the main thing is that the operating costs are distributed.
    Are you now political agitators like Mr. Pilz or something? For decades, Mr. Pilz has been spreading half-truths and opinions instead of facts about the armed forces, Eurofighters, etc. And his “portal” is now a credible source for AvD?

    • Jan Gruber, 19. March 2021 @ 13: 08

      I kindly ask you to read the text after the subheading and especially the last two sentences carefully:

      In this respect, the Pilz Portal report can be seen as politically motivated. Unfortunately also to the chagrin of the Avcon jet crews.

      The upper part of the report should represent Pilz's claims and the lower part that there is nothing relevant behind them.

      Apparently I did not succeed in juxtaposing claims and reality. I'm sorry.

      • Hotshot, 19. March 2021 @ 13: 13

        Perhaps the headline was not helpful in classifying the text immediately ...
        “Claimed” or something like that immediately leads the reader on the right track.
        My problem with this is that the mass media will also read your articles and thereby jump on these unqualified claims. With these things "hushing up" is probably more effective.
        Still, thanks for the feedback; I take everything back and claim the opposite ... 😉

        • Jan Gruber, 19. March 2021 @ 13: 29

          Hello Hotshot & Horst,

          You don't have to take anything back at allbecause I believe that the Criticism was and is absolutely justified. I stand by the fact that I didn't succeed in the balancing act between “that's what Zack Zack says” and “that's really behind it”. That is a fact that I do not deny, but instead admit that I did not succeed.

          For this reason I have given the article an update and also formulated more clearly in the upper part what I as the editor actually wanted to show the text. My message should be that "not even a mosquito" should be turned into a political elephant. I hope I did better this time.

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