Dear valued reader,

In the last Newsletter we looked at the crisis-ridden commercial aviation sector and the players’ prospects for the coming months and years. While this sector will require 2-3 years to regain its strength the business aviation community is more optimistic about continuing demand and stable prices in case travel restrictions will be cut for the 2nd half of this year and COVID-19 will not see a threatening 2nd wave across the globe. The first region to open up and returning to the “new” old daily routines is East Asia. Reason enough to take a closer look.

Overview Business Aviation in Asia

The aviation industry in Asia was the first to be hit when the outbreak in China started in early 2020. However, several countries such as Malaysia, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Vietnam and Thailand have handled the outbreak well and remain to have very low infection and death rates compared to Europe, the United States and other parts of the world. Domestic flights in Malaysia for example have never completely stopped; Firefly and various cargo operators have continued their schedule. Last week Malindo and Air Asia resumed their domestic schedules.

Most of the private aviation flights were domestic within countries in the region. In March 516 flights within India have been conducted, 270 in Japan, 170 within Thailand, 145 in Indonesia and 113 in Malaysia. The number of active aircraft is down from last year’s 200+ on most days to around 50 in April 2020. We observed that many owner and operators are utilising the downtime to conduct maintenance checks and upgrades either in the United States or in Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. Restrictions are slowly getting lifted in the region and a rise in business aviation flights is to be expected towards June and July. Ultimately – once the demand will pick up again – companies like Vista Jet with their standardised fleet of long range aircraft may be benefiting from that crisis due to the fact that many airlines will have reduced networks, especially on long haul routes for at least the next 12 to 24 months. Furthermore social distancing rules are far more challenging to enforce on commercial aircraft. Therefore we do see a rising demand mainly in the large cabin private jet market, for charter companies and also owned aircraft.

SAC Business Review

Inspection at Subang Airport
Aircraft Inspection at Subang Airport

The Asset Management team was conducting valuations for 2 business jet aircraft and completed 2 aircraft surveys. One of our Switzerland based surveyors conducted a PPI Records review on a Learjet in London flying from Zürich to London and back. Additionally one remote operator audit with a client in Eastern Europe has been conducted via video conference. Furthermore an Airbus H225 Helicopter Inspection is scheduled in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this week and demand for asset management services seems to pick up.

SAC’s Advisory & Compliance unit supported a South Asian operator to achieve its EASA TCO approval. The operator intended to start scheduled service into Europe by March 26 but had to postpone due to COVID-19. Leading the project between the operator and the authority allowed SAC to assure data compliance as well as to understand and provide solution support between the parties for a successful award. Working with people and leading a project spread over several time zones showed once more the competency of SAC as a small, dynamic and solution oriented consulting firm.

Furthermore SAC continues to support UK based JOTA Aviation in flight operations. JOTA managed to adjust to the crisis situation and will operate 3 new cargo aircraft and 3 passenger aircraft as of June 2020. SAC also established important relations with two international training organisations providing experienced staff for TRI courses and base trainings on commercial and non-commercial aircraft types.

Meet the SAC Team

Name: Ahmad Faris Bin Salwan
Job Title: Account Manager, Aircraft Surveyor
Location: SAC Office, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Faris, how long have you been with the company and why did you join?
“I have been working for SAC for almost 4 years now. The reason I joined the company was to gather as much international experience as possible by working in a team with different global perspectives of how business aviation is being conduct all around the world.”

What do you like most about your current role?
“My current roles in the company is Account Manager/Aircraft Surveyor. Being an account manager I am entitled to venture and research new incoming market, understanding the business trend and meeting new business people with various opportunities. On the other hand, being an Aircraft Surveyor I am responsible to conduct Technical and Operational Audits for various customers. This enables me to understand the characteristics of an aviation company, to see how they are operating, to view their standards based on their procedures and also to check out the latest business private planes on the market.”

Where is your favourite place in Malaysia?
“My favourite place is in Terengganu. It is located at the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia about 5-6 hours from Kuala Lumpur city centre. It features some of the most beautiful paradise islands including the ever popular Perhentian Islands, coral-fringed Redang Island and the laid back Kapas Island. The state capital Kuala Terengganu is a pleasant city and ideal for a short walking tour around the main heritage site.”

List five hashtags that describe your personality.
#Perseverance, #Confidence, #Love, #Commitment, #Spirituality

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
“I like travelling and spending lovable, cute, fun moments with my family.”