Dubai-based Empire Aviation Group takes a personal approach to its private aviation services, including aircraft management, charter and CAMO, as Managing Director Paras P. Dhamecha reveals
Twice honoured at the 2021 Middle East Aviation Achievement Awards, Empire Aviation Group offers a comprehensive service mix, including aircraft charter, management, sales and flight operations, alongside a robust CAMO (continuous airworthiness maintenance organisation) offer. The Business Aviation Operator of the Year and Aircraft Management Service Provider awards demonstrate the quality of Empire’s product, yet it offers services readily available elsewhere in the region, so what is it that sets the company apart?
Paras P. Dhamecha, Managing Director of Empire Aviation Group, believes the answer is in Empire’s integrated services and its people. “Since its launch in Dubai in 2007, Empire Aviation Group has developed into a global private aviation business integrating a comprehensive range of services, based on a distinctive aircraft asset management approach and personalised service.
“It’s the integration of our comprehensive offer and the expertise and experience of the team that enables Empire Aviation to provide the highest degree of personalised services. Our aircraft sales capabilities and experience extend to global markets and transactions, while our aircraft management differentiates us from traditional brokers. It’s the ability to draw together all the strands of private aviation – sales, management, operations, and charter – that enables the team to make private aviation a great experience for owners and charter guests.”
Although it is headquartered in the UAE with one of the Middle East’s largest managed fleets, Empire’s reach extends to a presence in Africa, Europe, India, Indonesia and the US. Dhamecha identifies these as ‘the key regions for private aviation’, while noting that the entire Empire team comprises 130 aviation specialists. The majority are based at the Dubai headquarters, with branch offices in India and San Marino, and aircraft sales representatives in the US. The company’s offer is further enhanced by UAE and San Marino AOCs (air operator certificates) and an NSOP (non-scheduled operator permit) in India. “We also recently appointed a new group director of aircraft sales and acquisitions to lead development of this aspect of the business,” Dhamecha notes. “It’s a vital element of our business model and the basis of our asset management approach.”
For a company to offer charter, management and aircraft sales is not unusual, but offering CAMO too is less common. Dhamecha says Empire’s CAMO certification is central to its aircraft management services, but also available as a stand-alone offer for third-party aircraft owners and operators. “The group takes responsibility for the quality management, auditing and records of each aircraft,” he explains. “In 2016, Empire Aircraft Management, our affiliate in India, began operating a dedicated CAMO and compliance facility from a sub-branch at the Aerocity in Delhi, India. It also has a corporate office in Bangalore.”
Dhamecha’s mention of aircraft records is significant. Easily neglected, quality records are essential to good maintenance, safety and aircraft value. “Our aircraft management service is built on close personal working relationships with owners, developing a high degree of trust, openness and transparency,” he explains. “The team builds trust and manages expectations by looking after every operational and maintenance detail of their aircraft. This includes the negotiation of all contract services with suppliers and tracking costs to ensure owners are receiving the best deals, with open books at all times.”
It is also significant that while many of the aircraft Empire manages are also offered for charter, some are not. Tailored management means that Empire delivers personalised service to every aircraft owner, according to their unique business model. The company’s policy of recognising and delivering upon unique customer requirements ensured that Empire weathered the worst ravages of the COVID pandemic, emerging strongly and with an eye to the future. Dhamecha acknowledges the team’s efforts throughout the crisis, examining potential new opportunities, including expanding its markets, product and service offering.