Interview with Mr. Thierry Tea – Founder & CEO, PhilJets Group
Can you briefly introduce your company?
For Business Aviation, PhilJets Aero Services’ scope ranges from distribution of products such as spare parts, consumables, and aviation products, to provision services including representation, maintenance and repair, advisory, and aircrafts sales.
PhilJets Aero Charter is active in aircraft management, ground handling, timeshare, fractional ownership, charter services and helicopter tours.
We started from ground zero merely two years ago, and now PhilJets has grown its helicopter business to a USD 10 million solid practice and had successfully taken part in 15 aircraft sales transactions.
What’s the latest from your company?
PhilJets Aero Services most recently received its AMO License, paving the way for the development of our MRO capabilities.
We are developing our work in the Philippines, whereby we are bringing two small planes, (the Beechcraft Bonanza) for use by clients in the Provinces. For Manila-based clients, we’re working towards bringing in the bigger models such as the Bombardier LearJet 75 and Global 6000, to the market. We have recently confirmed an order for one brand new H130 (ex EC130T2), to add to our current helicopter fleet, now comprising of three Airbus Helicopters, including two H130, one AS350B2, and one Robinson R44.
In terms of next steps, we will first focus mainly on talent development as this is fundamental to the future development and growth for not only PhilJets but also the entire BizAv industry in general. The development of HR and financing solutions at PhilJets is also being considered.
What are some of the industry issues that concern you the most? How do you think these issues should be addressed?
For me, talent retention is one of the very key issues, especially when there are only a very limited number of qualified talents in the first place, that are also very hard to recruit. The situation is further intensified for Asia’s BizAv industry as pilots and mechanics are increasingly attracted by major airlines.
Looking at the increasing costs associated with training, I believe that there is a need for more training centers to be developed, as well as investments into continuous education for Asia’s BizAv talent development.
How did AsBAA help in addressing these issues and how it could better help?
It is challenging for any individual BizAv companies to develop in the Asia market, mainly because of the market diversity such as regulations and resources. However, through AsBAA, we have a platform to truly collaborate through the sharing of information and best practices, etc., to bridge the information gap between members and market segments, for more openness and transparency.
What do you think it really takes to develop industry talent, supporting education?
I truly believe education is the only way to improve BizAv’s industry standards in Asia. For example, the Philippines holds many great talents, but unfortunately, most of the best talents are either already abroad, or will go abroad, to be trained up and educated. Local retention is a real issue.
We need to work with partners in order to create an industrial and service hub for Business Aviation and Aviation in general in different countries, and take the opportunity to exchange between these hubs. PhilJets is working hard to achieve this.
What do you find is most rewarding about your role as a leader in an aviation company?
Building a team, building structures, and seeing the results of our strategies. These are my most rewarding experiences. Leading is very much like flying — you are either in or out of the right direction, and there is no in between.
In addition, providing customers incredible lifetime experiences or simply being able to helping them increase their business is a great feeling. The joy of achieving customer satisfaction, building a proud team, and keeping them both safe, is very rewarding.
Anything else you want to share with the AsBAA community?
We can try to grow the AsBAA spirit in South East Asia. PhilJets will start to spread the word in the Philippines. I believe there could be more synergies between all industry players and AsBAA members as well. I am French Cambodian Chinese, and I have worked in both Hong Kong and Shanghai, so for me, I can relate to the diversity of AsBAA. However, I think for some other countries, we have to reach out to the ASEAN culture of Business Aviation, in order to help it grow.
Read the rest of interview on Asbaa Website : http://asbaa.org/philjets-on-the-runway/