Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Empire Aviation Group Focuses on India

In the midst of a refleeting exercise in the UAE, and after winning an Indian Non-Scheduled Operator’s Permit (NSOP, effectively an Indian AOC) last December—which it hopes will pave the way for a number of opportunities on the sub-continent—Dubai-based Empire Aviation Group is set to report a strong 2018.
“We have undertaken some aircraft replacements for our aircraft owners this year, which has been a terrific year for aircraft sales. Financially we are strong, and the number of planes under management has risen and is now very stable,” Paras Dhamecha, executive director of Empire Aviation Group, told AIN in the run-up to MEBAA Dubai 2018.

“We are busy completing six transactions, with three currently under contract, two deals already completed, and one more in the pipeline, which we hope will close later in the year,” he said. “If we can achieve everything in the sales pipeline, then 2018 will be the best year for us for several years regarding aircraft sales.”

Dhamecha noted that all six aircraft sales are fleet replacements for owners who have been looking to upgrade their aircraft, for example, from a Falcon 2000 to a Falcon 7X, or moving from an Embraer Legacy to a Lineage. “The advantage we have is that we are not tied to any OEM and can advise the customer on what is best suited to [their] requirements and then acquire the right aircraft from the appropriate manufacturer.”

Dhamecha said that cabin size in the managed fleet was increasing inexorably, as new aircraft come into the fleet. “Owners may not necessarily be very loyal to an aircraft brand, but they do move around within brands. It depends on owner requirements and preferences, and this tends to be a mix: newer preowned, certainly larger preowned, or larger new. The overall fleet size hasn’t changed but there have been replacements. Some owners have sold their aircraft and have been replaced by new owners.”

EAG’s business is predominantly aircraft management and its aircraft owners are the predominant users. “Today, our charter fleet is five or six aircraft out of a total of 20-plus under management. Charter is purely a cost-saving exercise to contribute toward the overall operating and holding costs of these aircraft, but it is not something that is core to those owners,” he said.
05/12/18 Peter Shaw-Smith/AINonline
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