PhilJets Continued its Growth In 2016
PhilJets, the Boutique Aviation Group that started out as an aircraft charter company with only one helicopter in 2013, has consistently developed its activities in the last 3 years. Now, PhilJets operates a total of 6 helicopters and is about to take delivery of its 2nd business jet in the coming weeks.
The company is seeking to sustain its admirable growth over the past years, but aims especially to continue to enhance its expertise in business aviation.
PhilJets has continued to grow to become one of the leaders in Business Aviation in the Philippines involved in Aircraft Investments, Aviation Services, Distribution, Air Transportation, Aircraft Management, Tourism, and Geophysics Mining but also Disaster Relief, Rescue and Medical Evacuation. The clientele in the past year has seen a surge in both local and international companies based in the Philippines, but also in tourists and business travelers, representing close to 30% of the total passengers.
In 2016, the PhilJets Group reached slightly higher than Php 90M in revenues, a strong growth of almost 90% compared to the previous year’s results. In comparison, 2015 experienced growth of 77% compared to 2014. The company has also broadened its network, creating partnerships with luxury brands like Aston Martin and Jewelmer Joaillerie, as well as 5-star hotels like Sofitel Philippine Plaza, The Manila Peninsula, and Conrad Hotel Manila or financial institutions such as Citibank.
In the same year, PhilJets has consolidated its customer base and structured its team, managing to attract some well-tenured managers with overseas experience pilots who came back to the Philippines and joined the company. Among the new members are Captain Eduardo Bonavente, Director of Operations and Lawrence Santos, Director of Maintenance, who both formerly worked in the oil and gas industry in Asia and Africa. Together, the Managerial and Operations teams have worked hard to achieve great results in 2016.
In the last quarter of 2016, PhilJets through its mother company Starline Global Industries, signed with Airbus Helicopters for 2 additional brand new Airbus H130 helicopters (1 firm and 1 option) in order to continue its increasing coverage of the domestic market.
PhilJets Plans in 2017
In line with the growth and development of its business, PhilJets jumpstarted 2017 by adding in its fleet, its first brand new business jet, a Cessna Citation XLS+. This aircraft is Cessna’s best-selling jet and is highly regarded for being one of the best performance in its class. Comfortably seating up to 8 passengers, it is perfect for both local and regional flights.
PhilJets shall also take delivery within the first semester of 2017, a brand-new Bombardier Challenger 350, a super-midsize business jet that boasts of industry-leading cabin technology and management systems. The addition of these aircrafts marks PhilJets’ entry into the Jet segment, helping the company reach greater heights and achieve one of its long-time business objectives of expanding into a new market.
While 2017 marks PhilJets’ foray into the business jets segment, it is also the year of the significant growth in the Helicopter segment with tentatively 3 more aircrafts to be leased. PhilJets shall take delivery of 2 units of the Airbus H130 and is expected to bring in a twin engine helicopter in the fourth quarter of the year, further expanding the fleet.
Indeed, in 2017, the company shall reach about more than PhP 2.5 Billion of assets under management, from PhP 816 Million in 2016, and aims at putting the Philippines on the map of leading Business Aviation country in Asia.
Company Chairman and CEO, Mr. Thierry Tea, says “Our objective is to reach 10 aircrafts in our fleet this year to provide the relevant quality service for our customers.” Indeed, PhilJets strives for customer service that is nothing less than international standard. With pilots that have clocked in thousands of hours of flight experience around the world and well trained flight crew to ensure proper aircraft maintenance, customers are most certainly assured that both their flights and aircrafts are taken care of by only the most professional hands.
In comparison to Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and other Asian nations, the Philippines is still behind in terms of its image as a Business Aviation country. PhilJets has made it the company’s primary goal to further contribute to the development of business aviation in the country.
Determined to stay the course, PhilJets is planning on some expansion not only in several parts of the country, but also in the ASEAN region. “As we grow, we provide high-skill jobs to more people. We have trained several dozens of engineers, who have had the chance to then go abroad for a better future. But, of course, our objective is to be able to keep them in the Philippines or to bring the talents back and provide them with fruitful careers. We have managed to do so with a few but we feel that we can do more,” adds Tea.
For 2017, PhilJets is targeting more than 60% increase in sales, aiming for a total of PhP 150 Million in revenues. This is going to be a challenge for the company, because reaching the critical size to effectively sustain and be profitable can be an arduous task. Operational and maintenance costs are persistently high and there is a constant need to invest in training for pilots and technicians as well as to generally improve as a company. “We are in an industry that requires huge resources in a lot of aspects, from human capital to assets and equipment but also in terms of infrastructure, systems and if we do not grow further it is challenging to be sustainable, because technology evolve very fast and the market also,” concludes Tea.
Starting on its fourth year of operation, the company has become not just a fast-growing start-up company, but now one of the leading players in the South East Asian Business Aviation Industry.