ASM opens second branch in India

 - May 16, 2011, 10:00 PM

Dubai-based Aviation Services Management (ASM) recently opened a new branch in Mumbai, the company’s second in India, to accommodate an increasing number of high-net-worth individuals taking advantage of corporate jet travel. The operation is staff by a team of six sales representatives.

ASM (Stand 857) opened a branch in Goa, India, in 2006. Then in December 2010, ASM and Abu Dhabi-based aircraft management and charter operator Royal Jet announced a joint venture serving the Indian market. ASM now provides charter sales and marketing in India for Royal Jet, which operates six Boeing Business Jets as well as Gulfstream G300 and GIV, Embraer Lineage 1000 and Learjet 60 aircraft.

 “We’ve opened this [Mumbai] branch to serve better the 20-plus clients we have in India, and beyond,” said Vito Gomes, ASM founder and managing director. “We’re also looking into many other areas where we can provide better services for our clients, such as logistics and operations support.”

Gomes founded ASM in 1998 in the British Virgin Islands. The company specializes in flight support services, operations consultancy, charter brokerage, aircraft management, flight planning and government and regulatory compliance. About 45 percent of its business is reselling fuel.

Despite the global recession, ASM reported $165 million in turnover last year, a 20- percent increase in its business over 2009. The company now employs 40 people at locations in Dubai and the nearby emirate of Sharjah, as well as in the UK, Goa and Mumbai.

The company’s expansion in India anticipates further growth in the business aviation sector. According to ASM, the country’s corporate jet fleet stands at 450 currently (although only 136 of these are registered in India), and is projected to rise to 1,200 aircraft by 2020. Operations in the wider Southeast Asia region now account for nearly half of ASM’s business, as well as in China, Africa and Sri Lanka.

In a statement last month, Gomes dismissed “rumors” of ASM being sold to another flight support group. “This news to me,” he said. “We have no partners and I don’t envisage the ownership structure changing, although we are looking to acquire aviation businesses that provide synergies with our one-stop operation.”