MEBAA Convention News

Vertis Aviation Sees Trends Shifting for Bizav in Africa

 - December 5, 2022, 2:23 AM
Vertis Aviation CEO Jeff Emmenis is optimistic about bizav in Africa.

Jeff Emmenis, CEO of Switzerland-based Vertis Aviation, said the company is now delivering personalized air charter services to customers flying within Africa after seeing a shift in trends because some primary customers, in terms of revenue, hailed from the continent of Africa and not just Europe.

“Our clients are also based across the European continent and they appreciate our experience and knowledge about how business aviation works in Africa,” he told AIN. “We are flying for many European and Middle Eastern companies coming to the continent for business, too.”

Vertis continues to expand its African presence and the continent is a prime focus for the business. “Two of our founders come from Africa so it has always been part of our legacy,” Emmenis noted. “And as business aviation takes on a new perception across the continent, the sector continues to grow.”

A reduced commercial fleet means there are transport gaps that business aviation is filling, he believes, adding. “This has been a factor in driving our charter business in Africa and we are supporting more business and government flights than leisure flights in this part of the world.”

As economies grow and more wealth is generated, Vertis has welcomed an increasing number of new clients in Africa during the past 12 months. “It is becoming a more acceptable way of moving across the continent,” he said. “The pandemic spurred some countries to speed permit processing, which has helped enable more flights. It still has a long way to go, but this is a good change for all.”

Local companies aspire to international standards of service, Emmenis said. “We have to manage expectations as there are still very few FBOs, but we note that more public-private partnerships are looking to develop more services to support the industry. This all helps with the overall perception of flight in the region.”

African business aviation presents a dynamic landscape, he said. “Existing countries, such as Nigeria, Côte D'Ivoire, South Africa, and Angola, continue to strengthen, while other new markets—including Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Cameroon—are emerging as business aviation destinations.”

“We are seeing increased amounts of movements between northern Europe and Africa to support inward investment and business across the continent. Our strategy is to explore new countries in Europe where demand for air charter to Africa is growing. The number of customers traveling from the UK, France, Germany, Belgium, and Switzerland to Africa is growing,” Emmenis noted.

A reduction in commercial routes, the general difficulty in traveling within Africa, and the burgeoning economies and opportunities in different regions of the continent are all contributing to the optimism, according to Emmenis. Meanwhile, he added, mining, hydrocarbons, agriculture, communications, and construction are all driving a rise in private aviation.

“Business aviation is the only convenient way to reduce travel times from days to hours, often more efficiently and certainly with more security and discretion,” he concluded.