Explains Priester, "They're really growing the business by gaining contracts with other airplanes throughout the region. They wanted to work with a Western company to establish U.S. and Western standards to their operation in Asia. Because of our association with Global Wings, they referred BAA to us."
For his company, says Priester, this brought an opportunity to reach a new market with the key elements in place. "That's part of the beauty of the relationship. BAA has already established the relationship with local governments, with the Chinese Civil Aviation Authority. They're the experts at obtaining the permits, doing the flight plans, all the regulatory things.
"They really quarterback that side of the arrangement, and they quarterback a lot of the marketing. Our responsibility winds up being the legal, operational control and operation of the airplanes. We do the flight crews; operate the aircraft to Part 135 standards; make sure they're properly maintained. The companies together have a very strong set of skills to offer the Asian marketplace."
For its part, Priester Aviation had FAA involved all along the way, says Priester. "We visited on multiple occasions with the FAA," explains Priester, "to make sure they were comfortable with what we were doing. We asked for their input in terms of setting up our operation, and what they would like to see. They felt comfortable with the operational control measure that we have in place. We did a lot of due diligence."
The Details; the Opportunity
For an aircraft management firm, crewing offshore brings new challenges. It may be the greatest single challenge, says Andy Priester. His company asks for a three-year commitment from crews who serve overseas, offering competitive salaries and paid-for housing, according to Priester. However, the agreements can vary.
"Our crews are currently ones that we hired here and have moved over to Asia. We hired them; sent them through school (FlightSafety).
"We ask for a three-year commitment. It's not a contract, but a verbal agreement. We have signed training agreements for one year, since we pay for the type ratings for these guys. Some crews have requested signing contracts, which is fine with us. Some crews have requested not to sign agreements. We've agreed to that as well.
"Crews have three big incentives: a good, international salary that's competitive; several tax breaks by being an ex-patriot employee; and, we pay for the housing over there."
Regarding short-term growth, Priester says that besides the three G-200s currently under contract, BAA has contracts for two "long-range" airplanes, both expected in service over the next 18 months, and are in negotiations for three additional Asian-based aircraft.
Says Priester, "We are just stepping into this right now, but we think there's tremendous potential, both on the management side and the charter side. It's going to snowball; as people become more familiar with the product, as aircraft wind up being available, as the Asian culture becomes aware of the benefits of corporate aviation, it's just going to fuel itself."
Priester Aviation, LLC is pleased to announce the appointment of Greg Maldonado as Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
The new site is designed to showcase “The New Priester” with a fresh look and a more user-friendly experience.
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