BJETS, a Singapore-based start-up, has ordered 50 new business jets in an effort to become Asia’s first dedicated fractional ownership, block charter and aircraft management company.
The company announced at the Singapore Airshow that it has placed orders for 20 Cessna Citation CJ2+ jets and 20 Hawker Pacific 850XP and 900XP, with an option for 10 more. It will take delivery of its first aircraft in about a month and begin operation in the second quarter of 2008. It hopes to have 15 jets delivered by the end of the year.
“BJETS will have the biggest fleet of private jets in Asia in its very first year of operations,” says Mark Baier, BJETS chief executive who used to be with NetJets. “There are no dedicated business jet fleets in Asia, and what we provide is guaranteed availability for our customers. It is something the region direly needs and we believe that our model can be very successful.”
Bala Ramamoorthy, the company’s founder and managing director, and the chief executive of its majority shareholder Briley Group, adds that BJETS will “provide a new benchmark for private aviation services”. “There is an acute shortage of these services in Asia and as wealth continues to grow in the region, we believe that the demand will continue to increase dramatically,” he says.
The company’s aircraft will be registered in India, and based in Singapore’s Seletar Aerospace Park and Mumbai, India’s financial capital. Services will also be mainly between India and Southeast Asia, says Baier.
India’s growing economic prowess and wealth has led many in the industry to believe that it could perhaps represent the biggest potential for business aviation in the region. However, it also needs to overcome several pressing challenges, including its dire aviation infrastructure and a shortage of maintenance centres.