“Currently, private jets owned by Korea’s conglomerates are less than 10 units. Considering demands for businesses in general and VVIP customers, the domestic market for air taxi and private jet charters is expected to grow. Right now, there are also only 50 units operating in Japan. But private jets can be in the limelight as a niche market if the Chinese and Southeast Asian markets are targeted through aggressive marketing,” said David YC Chung, Managing Director of Flightrans Jet, a Fixed Base Operation (FBO) facility at Incheon International Airport.
US-based Flightrans provides a variety of aviation services including aircraft charters for express parcel deliveries, cabin reconfiguration, and FAA training and testing for pilots, aircraft dispatchers, and A&P mechanics. Managing Director Chung is an expert in FAA training and testing.
Air taxi services and business jet charter services are used by executives for their business trips overseas, professional sports teams for transportation, patients in urgent need, VVIP customers for luxury tour packages, and Hallyu stars for their performances abroad.
The major conglomerates with corporate jets find it hard to keep up with the demands of maintaining their own jets. Maintaining business jets annually costs those large companies more than 50 billion won (US$47 million) per unit. Therefore, using charter services instead of their own jets when necessary is more efficient and economical.
For the first time as a domestic business aircraft charter company, Flightrans will offer services in the Southeast Asian markets, starting in November, by drawing on its experiences in air services.
In the US and Europe, air taxi services and private jet charter services targeting VVIP customers are already common. However, the popularity of those services is not confined to those regions. The number of air taxis and business aircraft utilized by people in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan has exceeded 370 units during the last 10 years. Hence, the company is paying attention to the possibility of business success in potential Asian markets.
Unlike conventional business methods, Flightrans has been employing differentiation strategies. It has been prepared to predict demands of the aviation market, and tried to dominate the market by focusing on the VVIP class. In particular, the company signed a contract for exclusive operation rights in Asia with China's Hanhwa Business Jet Airlines, and as a result began to fully participate in business jet charter services in the Asian charter markets.
Chung pointed out, “I feel a strong responsibility to develop the domestic airline industry, since the air transport industry is one of the future growth engines.”