Flight Plan

Will lease out only business jets: Kanika Tekriwal

K Giriprakash | Updated on April 04, 2021

Kanika Tekriwal, founder and CEO, JetSetGo Aviation Services   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

JetSetGo Aviation Services, an online marketplace for private jets and charter copter services, has had a good demand for its services post-lockdown. In an interview with BusinessLine, its founder and CEO, Kanika Tekriwal, shares the company’s plans of getting into the leasing business:

JetSetGo is planning to set up a leasing company in India. How viable do you think it will turn out to be?

Let me give you some background. After Kingfisher Airlines and Jet Airways went belly up, leasing an aircraft into India was almost impossible. So, we thought let us do something in this area to solve this issue. We can’t rely on external support and at the same time we have the ability to safeguard the asset within India; having operations in India helps in asset recovery, asset management.

So how do you plan to go about it?

We have got some commitment as far as funding is concerned. But we are still facing some challenges. What is promised to you doesn’t necessarily lead to anything substantial here.

So, once it is set up, we will buy aircraft; and start leasing them out here.

The project will require between $40,000 and $100,000 as total investment. We are planning to lease six aircraft and a helicopter initially. We will confine ourselves to leasing out business jets.

How big is the market for business jets in India?

As of now the demand far exceeds supply. We have had to turn down almost 50-60 per cent of our customers due to the shortage of supply. Therefore, we are beefing up the fleet. So, having a leasing company also helps. We just closed three assets. We are quite profitable as of now. Our rates start as low as ₹90,000 an hour.

Do you have any plans to enter into the commercial airline business?

The obvious evolution for us should have been to launch a commercial airline but then it is not a viable industry in India. Airlines in India are selling at a much lower per-mile cost. For example, in the US, airlines sell at one dollar per nautical mile. Here, it is 37 cents per nautical mile. As compared to the US and Europe, the cost of operations is much higher in India. I see no reason why we should be selling at a much lower cost. The airline industry has never been profitable here. A full cost airline’s fares are almost on par with those of a low-cost airline. So, how do you see the industry succeeding here. We are way too regulated here.

Published on April 04, 2021

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