Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Exclusive- Air Works on a roll

Neelam Mathews
June 18, 2012

India’s largest third-party MRO provider for business aviation, Air Works India Engineering has become the first MRO in the country to provide aircraft management services (AMS) through its recent acquisition of Dubai based- Empire Aviation Group.

Taking ownership of the complexity of day-to-day flight operations, Air Works will provide a turnkey Aircraft Management program for management of aircraft, with the added option of turning the asset into revenue by chartering the private jets when not in use. The company will negotiate for joint insurance rates, encourage owners to have similar model of aircraft and get pilots on call. “An owner only wants the pride of owing his aircraft, to be able to fly at short notice and doesn’t want to be involved with the nitty gritties of daily operations,” says Vivek Gour, Managing Director of Air Works to Aerospace Diary.

While India has 118 business jets and 80 turbo props, Gour says: “AMS will be beneficial to the single aisle or twin business aircraft owners who will have savings of approximately 10% a year.” Aerospace Diary learns it would save owners upto Rs six croers a year as a result of tapping the turnkey service.

“We put our money where our mouth is….The company expects to have an AMS order for 4-6 aircraft by August 2013. We’ll grow this business in the Middle East time point,” adds Gour. Unlike India, space is readily available between Dubai, Jebel Ali and Abu Dhabi. Having already won two customers, the service will be offered starting August this year.

Empire Aviation was formed in Dubai in 2007, by the existing management team and co-founders of the company – Paras Dhamecha and Steve Hartley – EAG is a one-stop shop for integrated private aviation services offering aircraft sales, aircraft management, aircraft charter, and aircraft finance and insurance. Today, the company has more than 100 staff and operates one of the region’s largest managed fleets of business jets, with 20 aircraft under management, operating out of Dubai International Airport. Dhamecha said: “Since formation in 2007, EAG has successfully built a strong regional aviation business and grown revenues and profit every year. We have also recently been looking at the exciting potential of the Indian aviation market and opened our first branch office there in 2011.

Air Works has funded this strategic investment through a mix of internal accruals and structured debt finance of INR 120 crore from KKR & Co. L.P. (KKR) a leading global investment firm with deep roots in private equity, diversified capabilities.

Steve Hartley, co-founder and Executive Director of EAG, said: “This partnership with Air Works will help EAG to broaden our business base and service offering in the Middle East and India – and beyond. The timing is absolutely right as the global aviation sector recovers.

1 comment:

  1. Air Works is not the first one to do it! Didn't you know that Deccan has teamed up with Taj to provide AMS under the brand name of Powerfly almost 2 years ago? They have a fleet of at least 7 small, medium and large business jets all under their operations, maintenance and charter. I am surprised you didn't find brochures of Powerfly in Vivek Gour's office. ~S.Shah