New Delhi: Air charter operator Club One Air has said that it is in talks with American very light jet (VLJ) manufacturer, Eclipse, and another unnamed aircraft manufacturer to establish a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services centre for VLJs in India. It will also start charter operations with these aircraft, offering a variety of services.
According to Manav Singh, promoter and managing director, Club One Air, the company was in advanced talks with Eclipse Aviation to bring the very first VLJ, the Eclipse 500 to India soon. He said that the company would also tie-up with the manufacturer to put up an MRO service centre in India. While Eclipse will provide the aircraft and maintenance technology, the company would fund the entire project and provide the crew and charter services for the aircraft.
Club One Air was also in talks with state governments in Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh for land for the project. The first VLJ will very likely be inducted into Club One''s charter services by March next year and the carrier plans to add at least 10 aircraft between March 2008 and March 2009.
The company also said that hey were expecting certification from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.
The company also said that they had plans to lease out aircraft either through the fractional ownership, with the aircraft being owned by different owners, or the full ownership model, with services and the crew being provided by Club One Air.
While a VLJ is priced in the range of $1.5-3 million, a turboprop or a jet aircraft would cost twice as much. The direct operating costs, which includes fuel and maintenance among other factors, is also 20-50 per cent lower at Rs30,000/hour.
The VLJ is also faster than a turboprop and takes almost the same amount of time for a short haul destination as an A320.
Club One Air is going to launch its domestic low-cost operations next year at prices that are 50 per cent below those currently charged by charters firms.