November 10, 2018,   2:59 PM

New Heights of Luxury Air Travel

Forbes Middleeast

Forbes Middle East FULL BIO

gjc partners claudio lietaert bashar beahsa naushad ahmad 1 2

Global Jet Centre partners, Claudio Lietaert, Bashar Beasha and Naushad Ahmad, reveal the luxury preferences and most popular aircraft among the region’s HNWIs.

As Global Jet Centre celebrates its 5th anniversary, looking back what have been some of the biggest milestones that stand out to you?

When we first started Global Jet Centre, there were only three of us. We were following our passion for aviation and we took the risk to venture on our own business journey without significant capital. We had faith, especially being based in the U.A.E.—the fastest growing market in the region. Our combined expertise of more than 45 years in the regional and international aviation sector, and our understanding of the culture were and still are our biggest assets.

Since the launch of GJC in 2013, we have focused on becoming the brokerage consultants of choice, both in the region and internationally. Our dedication and commitment paid off as we have grown our office by 150% and our team by 300%. We are increasing both numbers of new clients and our revenue.

How much has the chartered jet business changed and grown in that time?

Changes in the market financial situation have indirectly impacted our customers’ behavior. For example, longer intercontinental flights have been dropped or replaced, whereas domestic and regional flights on foreign continents have increased. New air charter applications have been introduced and clients have been requesting to charter larger aircraft types in the region compared to the rest of the world.

At Global Jet Centre, we’ve managed to find a healthy growth within a highly competitive market. During the past five years the number of flights we are chartering has increased by 140%, while we work on building a strong international network of partners and operators. As a result, the number of sectors being flown by our clients has grown by 150%.

With Middle East airlines offering state-of-the-art luxury first and business class services, why would HNWIs instead choose to charter their own private plane?

We do not see commercial flights as competition, as we offer a different perspective. Regardless of the size of the travelling group, we design solutions ideal for business professionals, families and teams, without compromising on the level of luxury, privacy and comfort.

We ensure they are undisturbed in the environment, providing customers with privacy and discretion. And our team can accommodate for sudden changes in plans—they are on call 24/7. Our premium VIP charter services are renowned for their attention to detail.

From luxurious aircraft interiors to unparalleled onboard services, our lavish offerings are second to none.

What is the most popular aircraft being hired? And why?

Charter requests vary from one client to another based on their preferences and the purpose of the flight. Over the last five years we’ve worked with almost all types of aircraft and we’ve noticed that aircrafts like Embraer  Legacy 650, Gulfstream, Boeing Business Jet BBJ are lately in high demand as they are available, they provide value for money, they are reliable, have a longer range and offer luxury at a competitive operating cost.

Which are your main routes?

Our charter flights are mainly to and from the Middle East, Europe, Asia and North America, while we are also seeing a sharp increase in demand for the service on the African continent.

Are you noticing any changes in the types of consumer using your services?

We are seeing more people that used to own aircraft but have decided to sell their private jets and now charter instead. Our business is seasonal, and while we are seeing an increase in the volume of flights for business and sporting events throughout the year, there will also be an increase in leisure flights as we approach various holiday periods. 60% of our clients charter private jets for leisure, while 30% do it for business and 10% for medical evacuation cases.

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