Dubai-based Empire Aviation Group has signed a management contract for a second Embraer Legacy 650 with a private owner. It will join a fleet of two super midsize Legacy 600 jets already operated by the company.
"Our aircraft management services are the core of our regional business and it is gratifying that we continue to attract new aircraft owners to bring their aircraft under EAG management. In fact, we were the first operator in the Middle East to manage a Legacy 650 and we are delighted to add a second to our managed fleet, and to expand our long-haul capabilities," says Steve Hartley, executive director.
Following its recent success attracting aircraft under management in India, Empire Aviation has also launched a comprehensive range of business aviation services for private aircraft owners on the sub-continent. The one-stop shop approach covers aircraft sales, aircraft management, flight operations and charter.
Empire took its first business jet under management in India in December 2012. The 2012 model Bombardier Challenger 300 is based at HAL Airport in Bangalore, where the company opened its first office in India recently and where there is already a team of six aviation specialists on the ground. It is in negotiations for a further three managed aircraft and plans to have five aircraft under management in India by mid 2013, with the team doubling in size over the same period.
Paras Dhamecha, executive director, comments: "The Indian economy is proving robust and with more Indian companies globalising their operations, we see a healthy future demand for our services, where we can fill the gap for a professional management company, which can simplify the ownership process and experience for owners. This will also help further stimulate the market for business aviation."
But he adds that there are still some challenges facing the development of private aviation in India; notably that the current tough regulations on aircraft importation and ownership are slowing market development, and airports are becoming busier and running close to capacity.
However, the company is optimistic about its prospects in the growing market. "We see part of our initial role as helping company and individual owners and aircraft operators in India understand the benefits of working with independent and experienced professional aircraft managers," says Hartley.
"Most private aircraft in India are company owned and managed by an in-house operations team, which is not always very cost effective. Empire Aviation takes an asset management approach to aircraft ownership and management, which starts with understanding the owner's needs, and building a business model around this, ensuring access to all the benefits of the aircraft while protecting its value through professional operation, management and maintenance to manufacturers' standards."
Initially established in Bangalore, Empire plans to extend its services to Indian aircraft owners through a network including additional offices in north and central India.
"We have made good progress in rapidly establishing EA in India," concludes Dhamecha. "The initial response from owners and operators has been very encouraging and we are now moving on to the next phase which is to focus on private operators who require the full management spectrum including induction of their aircraft in India."