Jet charter firm plans expansion amid rising demand

Corporate March 24, 2012 00:00

By SASITHORN ONGDEE
THE NATION

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Advance Aviation Jet Co, a newcomer in the Thai market for private charter flight service, plans to invest at least Bt1 billion to buy three more super mid-size jets over the next three years to serve rising demand from rich people.



 Acting on the good feedback it has received after being established in 2006, the company yesterday officially launched a new private-jet-charter service in addition to its current VIP helicopter-charter services.

The US$10-million (Bt300 million) jet – a Gulfstream G200 – designed to serve high-power passengers such as businesspeople who need to fly further than a helicopter’s range is considered the first of its kind in Thailand, said Chai Nasylvanta, vice chairman and chief executive officer of Advance Aviation Jet Co.

“We see a strong demand for private charter flight services after last year’s severe floods in Thailand. During the flooding period alone, we recorded about Bt50 million in revenue from helicopter-charter services, the same figure as we posted for all of 2011,” he said.

He added that the new jet-charter service would not cannibalise the company’s helicopter business as the customer target groups of the two services are different. In fact, these two services can have synergy. The jet charter is a point-to-point service while the helicopter charter is an airport-transfer service that can take passengers from the airport to hotels or desired places in the Kingdom.

The Gulfstream G200, which is recognised as one of the world’s best small aircraft, will take clients who need to travel a longer distance than they can fly in a helicopter, in quick time, said Chai. He added that the company could provide the service to any requested destination such as Dubai, Beijing, Perth, Japan, Incheon, Maldives, India or Hong Kong. The jet service is based in Bangkok. At present, he said, there are three clients – all of them foreigners – using the service.

“We target sales from the charter-jet services for this year at $2 million or 300 hours, based on fees of $6,500 per hour,” he said.

Chai said the company posted Bt50 million in revenue last fiscal year ending September 30.

After five years of operations, Advance Aviation Jet Co now has four five-seat helicopters to provide charter services, two of which are based in Bangkok and one each in Phuket and Chiang Mai. Service fees are Bt87,500 per hour for a Eurocopter EC135 and Bt77,000 per hour for the EC130 model. By client breakdown, about 80 per cent are businesspeople and the rest tourists. Meanwhile, 80 per cent of clients in Phuket and Chiang Mai are tourists and 20 per cent are businesspeople. The major clients are Siam Commercial Bank, TV Channel 7 and TNN Channel.

Chai said the company’s strength was that it ran the business without bank loans, using its own working capital for expansion. It has registered capital of Bt70 million. Therefore, it can maintain security standards in addition to quality service because it has no financial pressure.

“When our company’s financial statement shows better solidity, we might apply for bank loans to finance our future business expansion,” he said.

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