With millions of people choosing luxury in their air travel, India’s passenger growth has increased by 20 per cent. Not only that, India might overtake the United Kingdom as the world’s third largest aviation market by 2026. Considering these factors, the Dubai-based Business Aviation Concepts (BAC) is providing top-notch customer service to businesses, executive aircraft owners, business aviation companies, professionals and industry service providers.
Founded in 2010 by Ivan Vanderhyden, BAC is a bespoke advisory firm. It is catering to CEOs, executives and ultra high net worth individuals. But what gives their service an edge is the fact that they aren’t here to sell, but are ensuring that the needs of their fliers are met with finesse.
In an exclusive interview to Newsd, BAC’s founder Ivan Vanderhyden talked about many things from opportunities in Indian aviation space to passenger growth, areas of concerns in the industry, opportunity for foreign players, clashes among startups and a lot more.
Indian government is claiming that opening up in Indian aviation space has brought up numerous opportunities. What’s your take on it?
There’s no doubt that the potential for both immediate and long term growth is now prevalent within the Indian aviation sector. The current economic contributions to the GDP from Aviation alone, shows us that between direct, indirect and induced contributions, Aviation adds some $1.23 billion to the Indian economy annually. So continuing on this trajectory, India’s moment to shine has definitely arrived.
Indian aviation is showing tremendous passenger growth and was the fastest growing aviation market last year. What opportunities do you foresee for BAC?
India’s continental reach is so vast and with a population of some 1.25 billion people, freedom and accessibility to movement is simply a necessity. Currently, India is the fourth largest civil aviation market in the world, and is aiming to become the world’s largest by 2020.
A very significant part of India’s future aviation development will lie within the business and private aviation sector. India’s private aviation fleet, which includes helicopters, turbo propellers and business jet aircrafts, while still being in its infancy stages, has the potential for exponential growth based on the sheer demand for bespoke and luxury travel for UNHWI, HNWI, CEO’s, celebrities and VIP guests.
Therefore our opportunities are a true understanding of the value of time. In our 22 years of working closely with UHNWI and VIP clientele, we provide our clientele complete confidentiality first and foremost while maintaining a clear focus on maximising their value of time.
What are the areas of concern that you feel should be addressed?
Some of the area of concerns includes a definite need for the Government to remove the current import duties on any aircraft brought into the country. Secondly, strengthening of the DGCA from the government, through both adequate financial independence as well as moving towards the future with E-Governance requires immediate attention. Finally, sourcing of qualified flight crew as well as support personnel is a very difficult task within India.
The current process, especially for foreign aircrew, requires an exam on local regulations when seeking temporary authorization to fly Indian registered aircraft. This process is extensive and in many cases can take months to complete. It is in India’s absolute best interest to rationalize the regulatory process.
There is an increased opportunity now for foreign players to enter and flourish in the market. What are BAC’s plans for India?
BAC knows and understands that our relationships and our promise are to deliver to our clientele – a customer experience which sets us apart in the eyes of our clients. Our vision for India is committed to continuing to develop and nurture long-term partnerships. With this aim, BAC intends to join hands with well established partners.
Both domestic and foreign players are focusing on the Indian aviation sector. What should we be wary of?
I believe that where there is such a definite focus from multiple foreign players, this actually infuses new capital and funding into the market and hence growth of the sector which can produce more employment opportunities. Hence, I would rather say it will be very interesting to have such a situation.
What opportunities do you see in the corporate jet space in India?
The opportunities for private and business aviation are tremendous. Private aviation, when utilised as a proper business tool, has proven to be a smart business decision because of the intrinsic Value of Time Savings which operating a business aircraft provides. Utilising a business aircraft gives the corporation access to markets, people, and ultimately, a positive effect on the shareholder value.
Within India, the fleet for private aviation, which includes helicopters, turbo props and business jets, has grown from approximately 41 in 1990 to 500 in 2016 making the definite need and attrition evident.
Current market evaluations anticipate that the Indian private aviation sector will require approximately 200 to 250 business jets over the next 10 years. This equates to a market total of potentially 6.7 billion USD for new and replacement aircraft deliveries for India and South Asia over the next decade.
India’s GDP remains forecasted by the IMF to a 7.5% growth rate in the foreseeable future making the opportunity for aviation in the country astounding.
What are the services BAC offers that makes it stand apart from its competitors?
At our core, BAC is not an aircraft brokerage firm, meaning that, our job is not to sell our clients anything. Our objective is to utilise our extensive business aviation experience and proficiency to help ensure that our clients receive what they are looking for with the utmost highest levels of flight safety, efficiency, and fiscal responsibility being a top priority.
Our corporate structures are sourcing and acquisitions, project management and aircraft completion management. In essence, BAC was founded as a full service advisory firm. Meaning that, if you as a client were perhaps investigating the acquisition of a business aircraft but were not sure what steps were necessary on such a large expenditure, this is where the company shows its true value for money.
Beginning with initial meetings to review your current and future business travel commitments as well as your personal desires and expectations from a business aircraft, we then create an in-depth feasibility study which is presented to your executive team for further review. Upon a final decision, BAC then works on your behalf with full confidentiality through our extensive network, to source aircrafts which exceed the necessary levels of flight safety and maintenance history milestones are being met. The following steps include an initial offer to purchase, pre-purchase inspections and the actual aircraft purchase agreement. During all these steps, BAC remains fully by your side.
Ongoing with the successful closing of a transaction, we then move onto the Project Management phase, which includes aircraft management company contractual support, aircraft insurance market research, airworthiness and registration guidance as well as international regulatory compliance and crewing compliment assistance if required. Our goal is to ensure that from day one, your aircraft is ready to fly with no delays being imposed on your busy schedule.
Several startups (JetSetGo, BookMyCharters, JetSmart) are cashing in on the private jet space opportunity in India. What do you think about this trend? How does this affect BAC?
I feel very confident that there are enough opportunities for all to co-exist. Definitely a level of competition brings value to services for the consumer but, overall all companies are making good returns, barring few who unfortunately have not been able to capitalize on the opportunity.
However, BAC’s relationships with our clients are focused fully around the long term view, meaning that our planning goes towards where our clients foresee themselves in 5 and 10 years from now and how a business aircraft will help them fulfill their objectives over this time period. Whereas the above mentioned web based applications, focus on fulfilling immediate “empty leg” vacancies on aircrafts, in order to sell that portion of an individual trip.