BJETS launches charter biz

BJETS, the air charter firm promoted by the Briley Group and the Tatas, officially launched its charter operations in Delhi . The launch was initially planned in June.According to company officials, the delay was caused by a lag in the delivery of aircraft. “We needed a critical mass of aircraft before we could offer the business model that we are working on,” the official said.
The company will be based in Mumbai and Singapore, with an operations centre in Hyderabad.
Earlier this year, BJETS had signed an order for 50 business jets valued at close to $1 billion, the biggest ever in Asia. Also, it recently announced that it had ordered 10 Hawker 4000 business jets with options for an additional five for an estimated $330 million. BJETS already has four aircraft at its disposal and is expected have eight aircraft by the end of this calender year.
“We will have around 21 aircraft by 2009,” an official said.BJETS was founded by the entrepreneur Bala Ramamoorthy, MD of the Briley Group, which is the majority shareholder in the company. The other significant shareholder is the Tata Group promoted Indian Hotels Company. BJETS expects to connect India’s growing high net worth individuals to various destinations in the Middle-East and South-east Asia as well as destinations within the country.
“We can currently access over 120 airstrips in India alone,” said Mark Baier, its CEO. The company has flown close to 100 hours in the last one month since its soft launch. “There was a dearth of supply in this market. After our launch, there have been a steady number of enquiries,” the official said.The company has a fractional ownership model along with services like block charter and aircraft management. “Clients ranging from wealthy individuals to corporations or even aircraft owners can now have the flexibility to decide their own itinerary, route, and choice of jet. Such services were previously lacking in Asia,” a statement from the company said.Unlike other private jet companies, BJETS will guarantee availability of aircraft due to its fleet size and supporting operations centre, Baier pointed out. The company aircraft management services will take care of hiring crew, logistics, catering and route planning for clients who already own aircraft.

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