Q&A: Vito Gomes, Aviation Services Management
Having developed an impressive market share in the middle east, Aviation Services Management is looking at South East Asia, explains managing director Vito Gomes.
What is the history of Aviation Services Management (ASM)?
Aviation Services Management was formed in 1998 as a specialist provider of flight support services, operations consultancy, charter brokerage, fuel re-selling, aircraft management, flight planning and regulatory compliance. Since this time, we have developed from a small business into a medium-sized enterprise, with operations in Dubai, Sharjah, Mumbai, Goa and the United Kingdom. In addition, ASM employs more than 40 people and has a client base that includes over 150 suppliers around the world.
How strong was the business performance of ASM in 2010?
Although many operators have struggled to withstand the global financial crisis, we reported a turnover of US$165 million in 2010. This marked an increase of around 20% compared to the previous year, which can be attributed to a number of reasons. For example, we continue to reinvest in the business, we are constantly improving our administrative control and payment procedures, and we pay our suppliers on time, which has helped to build trust. Looking ahead, I expected that 2011 will close better than last year in terms of turnover, although there are challenges ahead such as fuel price increases and unrest in parts of the Middle East and North Africa.
What is your reaction to market speculation that ASM is being acquired by another company?
Although I am aware that such rumours are being circulated, this would be unexpected. Aviation Services Management does not have partners and I cannot envision any changes to our ownership structure. On the contrary, we are looking to make future acquisitions of aviation businesses that provide synergies with our one-stop operation.
ASM launched a Mumbai branch at the end of March. What were the reasons for this development?
The branch was opened to better serve the 20-plus clients we already have in India and beyond. We’re targeting the high net worth individuals who enjoy in-flight luxuries to and from India, and we’re also looking into many other areas where we can provide better services for clients, such as logistics and operations support. This is actually our second Indian venture, complementing the start of Goa operations in 2006, and follows the recent launch of a joint venture with Royal Jet, under which we carry out India charter sales and marketing for the Abu Dhabi-based carrier, which operates six Boeing Business Jets, in addition to Gulfstream and Lear Jet aircraft.
What other future developments are planned for the company?
At the moment, we are focused on developing a one-stop shop in South East Asia and Africa. The recent drive in India will provide Aviation Services Management with a great launch pad for further growth in South East Asia – which already accounts for nearly half of the company’s business - as well as China, Vietnam, Africa and Sri Lanka. We are now recruiting for these markets and will follow our usual strategy to hire experienced professionals in the industry.