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Fri 30 Jul 2010 04:00 AM

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Rewarding loyalty

Nick Maynard, marketing and communications manager of Royal Jet, explains why the company's new ‘100 Club' will bring a number of benefits for customers in the Middle East.

Rewarding loyalty

Nick Maynard, marketing and communications manager of Royal Jet, explains why the company's new ‘100 Club' will bring a number of benefits for customers in the Middle East.

AVB: What prompted Royal Jet to launch its new corporate relationship programme?

Although corporates have always played an important role in our business mix, we are aware that a more flexible private jet solution is required for this customer segment. With our 100 Club, Royal Jet provides an entry-level solution, so even the lightest users can unlock the benefits of private jet travel. The programme is designed for corporates looking to fly between 20 and 100 hours per year and offers discounts and other benefits.

AVB: How does the programme work for these corporate customers?

Members receive an upfront discount of 5% on the usual charter prices. In addition, as the number of hours that are utilised increases, so does the discount. For example, members that clock up 60 hours over their 12 month membership enjoy a 7% discount. Additional discounts will be applied at the end of the membership period, based on the actual hours flown and rebated to the customer. We also have a unique aircraft multiplier, which takes into account the higher cost of chartering a larger aircraft. Gulfstream carries a multiplier of 1.25, for instance, for a member that flies 32 hours on a Gulfstream aircraft would qualify for the higher 40 hours discount threshold.

AVB: What type of customers are you planning to attract with this initiative?

The 100 Club is ideal for those that acknowledge the benefits and relative cost effectiveness of private jet travel. Many companies travel frequently within the GCC - often to multiple destinations within the same week or even day - in these cases, the argument for private jet is irrefutable.

AVB: How will this be promoted to existing and potential customers in the region?

The initiative is being promoted across all forms of communication and to every stakeholder. Through the press conferences, interviews and advertising we've had across print, broadcast and online media, we have conveyed the benefits of the 100 Club. In addition, we are also engaging our existing as well as new customers on a more personal level.

AVB: What reaction have you received from the market to date for the programme?

Since the launch of the programme during Arabian Travel Market in May 2010, we have received a tremendous response from both existing as well as new customers of Royal Jet. Our 100 Club marketing team has been busy in meetings with interested parties and judging from those meetings, we are confident of signing up as many members as we can in the coming weeks and months.

AVB: How has Royal Jet performed as a whole in the first half of 2010?

There were signs of a recovery in many sectors during the first quarter of this year, leading to organic growth overall. Our core charter business is doing well with large VIP aircraft such as the BBJ continuing to enjoy huge demand, and our diversified business activities that are very much still within the aviation sector have had positive results.

AVB: How does this compare to the same period last year?

Royal Jet maintained solid growth in 2009 as our cost-saving initiatives and diversification strategy paid off. During this time, our core charter business performed well and although there was significant downward pressure in the super-midsize category, charter pricing also held up in the BBJ sector and the larger aircraft have maintained strong demand. Our brokerage operation also experienced phenomenal growth, while our Medevac operation has done extremely well too.

AVB: How has Royal Jet prepared for future growth in the Middle East region?

We are currently implementing our five-year plan, which goes on until 2014 and includes a significant growth in aircraft numbers. Addressing the huge demand for large VIP jets, Royal Jet will soon receive its sixth BBJ - the A6-DFR. In addition, our multi-million dollar refurbishment programme will see the return of its other BBJ - the A6-RJY - following a complete makeover. An integral part of our diversification strategy is our aircraft management division. Under such service, we manage aircraft owned by others and maximise the return on investment for those owners. Royal Jet will soon have a brand new Embraer Lineage 1000, which we will be operating on behalf of the Al Habtoor Group.

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