Aviation services provider PhilJets has seen assets under management grow by 50 percent from a year ago to $10 million and expects the expansion to hit at least another 50 percent in 2016.
Established in January 2013, PhilJets earlier this year launched a Feel Different Campaign to promote helicopter charters to Filipinos as well as foreign tourists and investors.
Its helicopter tours this past year have included destinations such as Tagaytay and Taal Lake, Mount Pinatubo, Palawan, Boracay, Corregidor, Manila Bay, Banaue and Sagada as well as Bohol and Davao. PhilJets flew around 22 hours a month and transported more than 1,500 passengers.
In line with its goal to promote Philippine aviation and tourism, Thierry Tea, CEO of PhilJets, will be promoting the Philippines as one of the speakers at the Civil Helicopter Southeast Asia Conference on December 9 and 10 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
“The market is highly competitive, costs are high and margins are low for credible companies that respect regulation and strictly apply international maintenance and safety standards,” said Tea.
Despite economic and technical challenges, PhilJets Aero Charter Corp., a subsidiary of the PhilJets Group, was said to have gained credibility and a solid reputation in just two-and-a-half years with its mix of young and experienced Filipino and French team members and a fleet of brand-new Airbus AS350B2 and H130 helicopters.
PhilJets will add one more brand-new H130 helicopter by February 2016 to meet demand in the months leading to the election period in May.
To provide an alternative solution for customers who want to avoid Metro Manila’s heavy traffic, meanwhile, PhilJets formed an alliance with another startup, GrabTaxi, to launch GrabHeli, an air taxi service.
By partnering with GrabTaxi, PhilJets said it planmed to further strengthen its digital presence and develop its e-commerce platform. The company wants to make its services more accessible to the local market.
Through GrabHeli, anyone registered with GrabPay can get a helicopter tour over Metro Manila for P3,888 per person.
“PhilJets aims to be innovative, to create value, while servicing the growing demand and adapt to the ever evolving requirements of the customers. As we are launching this new booking platform through the app, our solution is likely to improve within the next months, and we foresee multiple different type of requests from the users. We are eager to listen to the feedbacks and work with our clients to always move towards enhancing customer satisfaction” Tea said.
“We are happy to partner with GrabTaxi – a true Asian company. They have demonstrated their strengths and leadership position in Asia with more than 10.5 million downloads in the Philippines alone. PhilJets is delighted to be the very first to co-launch GrabHeli,” he added.
Michiko Soriano, PhilJets business development manager, said: “We have been working on this together for months, and while it is mainly a marketing campaign, we hope for it to benefit the whole aviation industry in the future.”
“So from now, we will keep it realistic as there are not yet many helipads or landing sites in the metro. We will start with Manila aerial tours and the possibility of air taxi/airport transfer from Makati or the Fort, which we already do, but with the GrabHeli on the GrabTaxi app hopefully there will be a larger reach in the future. The Philippines could be like Hong Kong, New York or Rio De Janeiro,” Soriano added.
The PhilJets Group includes PhilJets Aero Services Inc. and PhilJets Aero Charter Corp. Its range of activities included general aviation services, aircraft management, aircrafts sales, spare parts sales, maintenance services, technical support, manpower and outsourcing, representation, charter flights, helicopter tours, and aerial work.