Slovenia-based aircraft charter and management provider Elit’Avia is making its entrance into the Asia-Pacific market, launching Elit’Avia Asia and opening offices in Hong Kong and Bangkok. The move comes after its planned merger with Singapore-based charter start-up OJets was halted before its finalization.
Elit’Avia named former OJets executive Mark Thibault managing director of the newly formed Asian division. Elit'Avia is extending its business aviation services to Asia based on growth in the region and expected demand from high-net-worth individuals looking for high-end, long-range business jets.
Puja Mahajan, CEO of Elit’Avia said the regional market indicates a preference for high-end, long-range business jets. Mahajan also noted that according to Jetnet, there are more than 700 large to long-range business aircraft in Asia. About 90 percent of those aircraft are Gulfstream, Bombardier, and Dassault models that fit well into Elit’Avia’s area of service expertise.
“The average age of the installed base is around six years,” said Mahajan. “This point in an aircraft’s lifecycle represents a 'sweet spot' where owners typically begin to trade in their aircraft. Thus, the demand for aircraft management services rises significantly. So, we are extending our unique approach to business aviation services to Asia to serve the installed base that is in full growth thanks to major investments in aviation infrastructure and greater access to routes.”
Commenting on the appointment of Thibault, Mahajan said, “Mark Thibault has an unparalleled degree of expertise in business aviation and a great reputation as an operations expert committed to safety and efficiency. By combining our sophisticated and comprehensive approach to business aviation services with Mark’s exceptional knowledge and experience in the region, we are very optimistic about our expansion into Asia.”
In June, Thibault exited OJets and CEO Nick Houseman returned to Elit'Avia. Houseman, along with Elit’Avia founder, Michel Coulomb, are again the majority owners of Elit’Avia. OJets is now an Elit’Avia client with its aircraft operating under Elit’Avia’s Maltese AOC. Elit’Avia said the company looks forward to continuing to work with the OJets team and to supporting its fleet of aircraft.