Home Latest NewsINTERVIEWS Paras P. Dhamecha, co-Founder and Managing Director, Empire Aviation Group

Paras P. Dhamecha, co-Founder and Managing Director, Empire Aviation Group

by Mahua Special Editor
Paras P. Dhamecha, co-Founder and Managing Director, Empire Aviation Group

As a first step, we’d want to hear about how you got started with Empire Aviation and how you worked your way up as an aviation entrepreneur?

Paras Dhamecha is the co-founder and Managing Director of Empire Aviation Group, the Middle East’s leading private aviation specialist and operator of one of the region’s largest managed fleets of business jets. Born and raised in Dubai and educated in the US, Paras is one of the pioneers of private aviation in the UAE and has extended Empire operations across the GCC, Europe, North & West Africa, India USA and most recently, the Far East.

With around 20 aircraft in the fleet, Empire is a one-stop shop for private aviation solutions, including aircraft sales, aircraft management, jet charter services and CAMO. He guides a team of over 120 professionals across five international operating bases. He is also an airline rated pilot, flying some of the jets he manages. Paras applies his passion to piloting which started at the very young age of 10. He began learning his flying skills at the Dubai Flying Association and Emirates Flying School. Paras is affiliated with the Young Presidents’ Organization and his aviation business achievements have been recognised with several industry awards for Empire.

The operation and management of aircraft are some of the most challenging parts of aviation. What strategies do you employ to both overcome the problems and provide comprehensive solutions?

Aircraft management services are the core of the business. The entire team is dedicated to supporting aircraft owners with a very highly personalized level of service and a unique asset management approach. Empire continues to expand and develop with new aircraft coming on to the managed fleet and new services being added to enhance the aircraft ownership experience.

The company’s successful and award-winning aircraft management service has been built on close personal working relationships with owners to develop a high degree of personal trust, openness and transparency. The team builds this trust and manage expectations by looking after every operational and maintenance detail of their aircraft. This includes the negotiation of all contract services with supplier companies and tracking all costs to ensure owners are receiving the best deals with open books at all times.

Empire Aviation’s aircraft sales capabilities and experience extends to global markets and transactions and the role as an aircraft management company differentiates the approach from traditional brokers – the team knows which aircraft sell and how to maximise residual values. It’s the ability to draw together all the strands of private aviation – sales, management, operations, and charter – that enables the team to make private aviation a great experience for owners and charter guests.

The company manages private jets on behalf of owners and Empire Aviation’s asset management approach means that each aircraft owner has a unique business model and a set of highly personalised services. Several of the managed private jets on the fleet are available to the charter market and comprise aircraft of different types and cabin configurations.

By providing a number of charter flights during the epidemic, Empire Aviation helps various foreign repatriation operations. The effort put forth is commendable. Could you please share your tale of service to humanity with our readers to motivate and inspire them?

Empire Aviation Group has flown missions throughout the pandemic within restrictions – generally pandemic related charter flights, emergency medical or repatriation flights – to various destinations from different countries. Empire Aviation has also arranged charters for 150+ passengers on larger aircraft sub-chartered through airline partners. In 2020, the team flew several charter flights operating from Dubai to different cities in India, and from India back to Dubai, after the easing of some restrictions.

What can the airline industry learn from this catastrophe in terms of planning and execution?

The pandemic has been a disruption event for all segments of the aviation sector and accelerated the adoption of technology.

What do you see as the most significant challenges and possibilities for the industry in the years ahead?

Empire Aviation is always looking to innovate and improve services and operations and through the Covid-19 crisis has looked at potential opportunities such as expanding markets, product and service offering. Empire quickly implemented various systems throughout the Covid-19 pandemic to ensure a safe environment for all customers and employees.

Empire Aviation has taken business jets under management operating out of Cairo, Egypt, and Jakarta, Indonesia. We complete several business jet transactions each year and recently completed two sales in India.  There’s growing interest in the long term leasing of charter aircraft for 2-3 months and we are seeing higher utilisation of our managed aircraft on charter.

The appointment of a global Director of Aircraft Sales & Acquisitions to focus on global increasing demand for business jets, driven by the current global travel restrictions and the growing appreciation for the privacy, freedom and controlled environment offered by private aviation.

Empire Aviation launched a new ‘Luxury Partner’ programme combining the unique benefits of private jet travel with award-winning luxury travel partners, in response to the growing demand from affluent leisure travellers for highly personalised private travel services. The first Luxury Partners include companies with a particular focus on the luxury resorts of the Indian Ocean and Thailand – favourites among private jet charter clients –  Soneva, Lily Hotels’ Hideaway Beach Maldives, Private Plan, and Fregate Island Private Resort Seychelles. 

Empire Aviation launched a new website in Q1 2021 and the company is now also involved in social media activities. The company has invested in new aviation management software covering flight operations, charter and maintenance.

What are your top priorities for emerging technologies after providing world-class CAMO services?

Empire Aviation’s Continuing Airworthiness Management Organization (CAMO) certification is central to aircraft management services and has been launched as a stand-alone offer for third party aircraft owners and operators through which the group takes responsibility for the quality management, auditing and records of each aircraft

What business opportunities are you anticipating from the upcoming Dubai expo 2020?

Expo 2020 Dubai presents a unique opportunity to showcase the UAE’s world class aviation infrastructure and facilities in Dubai for private aviation, for international visitors and we expect to operate a number of charter flights through the six month event. 

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