Proposals up in the clouds help lift growth of chartered flights

Cathy Yang, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 21 2018 10:07 PM | Updated as of Feb 22 2018 06:39 AM

PhilJets chairman and CEO Thierry Tea in an exclusive interview with ANC's Cathy Yang

MANILA - If you want your significant other to say "Yes!" there's no better place to pop up the question than up in the air flying in a helicopter or a private jet, this based on the experience of the boss of one of the largest chartered flight firms in the Philippines. 

Photo from their Facebook page

Thierry Tea, chairman and CEO of PhilJets said that while executives who want to seal business proposals remain their main market, their aircraft has been witness to other proposals-- the kind that demands a lifetime commitment between couples. 

"We had, I think, close to 5 proposals and they were all yes!" Tea said in an exclusive interview with ANC's The Boss. 

The chartered flight market in the Philippines is growing along with the rest of the economy, driven by busy businessmen as well as people seeking a one-of-a-kind experience, he said. 

PhilJets chairman and CEO Thierry Tea in an exclusive interview with ANC's Cathy Yang

Tea said that their jets and helicopters are in high demand among businessmen who want to get quickly to meetings and avoid traffic. 

Sometimes, he said, getting to a meeting via air travel even helped business negotiations. 

"Last week, I was with a friend of mine. We went to Corregidor to have a meeting and they managed to close a deal because they went onsite. They were able to look at the facilities and make a proposal," Tea said. 

He said that aerial trips helped people in real estate as they could see the properties they were buying. 

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It was even more important for foreign businessmen who wanted to see what they were investing in, Tea added. 

But besides businessmen, PhilJets also caters to people who want to do something special for their loved ones. 

The company holds "discovery flights" where people are flown to destinations like waterfalls, scenic hills and volcanoes where they can have lunch and then come back. 

Tea said they have done these flights as gifts on Mothers' Day, Fathers' Day, for someone's birthday, and a couple's anniversary.

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The PhilJet boss said the company has grown since they were established 5 years ago to a fleet of 13 aircraft this year. 

"The Philippine economy is growing we have been privileged witness of this growth. We also enable it by enabling more business groups to come to the Philippines, fly business jets, take the helicopter to have their meetings."

In 5 years time, or by 2023, Tea hopes to expand their fleet further to around 30 aircraft composed of 20 helicopters and 10 business jets.