The Comlux brand is strongly associated for business aviation customers with amazingservice quality. As the name of the company - comfort and luxury, as it is encrypted some of basic principles Comlux is operating with already over 20 years. We could discuss the brand and comany long enough, but it makes sence to listen to a professional. Welcome our quest today - Director Comlux Russia & CIS Mikhail Kirillov.
Comlux is well known leader on the industry. What is your secret?
Comlux is a group of companies which includes aircraft management and charter division named Fly Comlux (with its Malta EASA, Aruba and KZ AOC’s ) , completion centre - Comlux Indianapolis, aircraft sales division - Comlux transactions.
Comlux is a unique company which may offer to the client all range of business aviation services, starting from aircraft management and charters up to cabin completion and aircraft sales. We have a multinational fantastic team of professionals from all over the world. Our internal environment encourages our employees to go an extra mile.
To my opinion, here is the formula: a unique portfolio of services + our passionate professional team = success.
What are the main market challenges that Comlux is facing recently?
Global situation is the same for all market players. Global economic crisis, low prices for oil, unstable political situation in the world. All this decreases the demand for business aviation services. Competition is as always tough. Strongest will become stronger. Weakest will leave the market.
Do we plan to develop business in the new segments?
As of today , Comlux covers already a wide range of services of VIP aviation . Our intent is to provide unmatched quality for these services to our VIP clients : get all the oem and authorities approvals required and work as per the state-of-the-art industry practices to achieve full customer satisfaction .
At the moment we do not to diversify ourselves in new activities but more to consolidate our positioning in the business .
What is the current status of Comlux aircraft management business?
Aircraft management business is very specific. In order to have happy customers, it is a must to show excellence in every aspect. This is a best recognition from behalf of our customers. Several aircraft management contracts for wide body aircraft has been signed recently. I would like to point out the biggest ones: Boeing 777, Airbus ACJ330. Also two Global 6000 has joined the fleet this year. Even though Comlux has always been focused on heavy jets, every customer is important for us no matter which type of aircraft he has.
Which Comlux business (at group level) shows the biggest growth?
In general, all Comlux entities are showing good results. I have just talked about fly Comlux new aircraft in management this year . With the extension of the completion hangar in Indianapolis, Comlux America also received several big contracts for completion. We are now working on a completion for one BBJ for a Asian client , another completion for a Sukhoi SBJ, and last but not least a completion for one ACJ 330. Also we should not forget about the achievements of Comlux transactions. A number of aircraft transactions has been done recently including the purchase of two BBJ Max 8 , 3ACJ neo and one Global 6000 and the sale of an Airbus AcJ319 to the government of Slovakia in spring .
What do you think about the markets in USA, China and Russia? What is your expectation from those markets?
Those are completely different markets. USA market is much more active now. We have opened a new Comlux office in Miami in order to cover the needs of north and Latin America markets .
China market which had slown down in terms of aircraft purchase in the last years is showing new interest now and we consider this market as strategic for group development. Comlux has opened an office in Hong Kong in 2012. China is a market not only for aircraft sales and management, but we see a lot of opportunities for Comlux America completions and maintenance services there.
Russia is traditionally a very important region for Comlux for all our services: aircraft sales, management, charters, cabin refurbishment and maintenance. Comlux has an office in Russia since 2004 and a large operational facility with hangars in Almaty Kazakhstan since 2008. Thanks to those bases we can successfully offers all range of Comlux services in Russia and CIS.
Who is a typical client in Russia? Do you agree that clients in Russia are trying to minimise their costs as much as possible?
I would say that all customers are trying to minimise their costs. It doesn’t depend on the region.
In general, situation in Russia has changed during the last two years. Cheap oil and political situation have affected the demand. Some customers started to book smaller type of aircraft, some customers have changed private jet to business class.
Comlux is traditionally focused on heavy jets. We have a stable demand for our long range and ACJ/BBJ fleet. Of course economic situation has affected our clients, but it didn’t affect their bookings (in case we are talking about charters).
As for aircraft management business, of course, Comlux always provides most cost effective solutions to aircraft owners. There are a lot of options how to minimise the cost of operation. This is constant process. For example, we are in a position to offer serious discounts from third party service providers comparing to small operators: fuel, maintenance, insurance, crew training costs, crew travel and accommodation, etc. Comlux is a big company with a very personified approach to its customers.
What are your plans in Russia? What are the most interesting destinations in Russia (except Moscow and St. Petersburg)?
It won’t be a surprise if I mention Sochi as one the most popular destinations in Russia. Sochi is popular both in summer and in winter.
As for Comlux plans, we plan to increase our aircraft management fleet in Russia and CIS countries. Russia has always been an important region for Comlux Transactions. Market of pre-owned aircraft in Russia is quite active. We have sold and helped to buy a number of aircraft to the clients form Russia and CIS countries. Main target of our office in Russia is be close to our customers from the region. We know the regional specific and support aircraft operation in the region.
What is the dynamic of the company during the last 2 years in terms of flights hours flown?
Comlux fleet is growing. We have signed a number of aircraft management contracts during the last 6 months: two Global 6000, Gulfstream 650ER, ACJ319, Boeing 777-VIP, Airbus ACJ330. So total Amount of hours flown was definitely increased.:)
Has the market in Kazakhstan been changed recently? What are the plans for the future?
Kazakhstan is a very important market for Comlux. Our aircraft management, charter and ground handling activity is very high in this region. To give you a better view of our presence in Kazakhstan: we have 5 heavy jets based there (including ACJ319 and Global 6000), Comlux-KZ has its own hangars and maintenance facility in Almaty and Astana. We provide ground handling in all airports of Kazakhstan. There are around 100 employees working in Comlux-KZ office, which is based in Almaty.
What is the prognosis of Comlux results(at group level) for 2016?
We still have 4 months to go in 2016. Already know it is clear that 2016 is a successful year for Comlux: a number of aircraft management contracts signed, several aircraft were sold by Comlux transactions (ACJ319 for the Government of Slovakia is among them), a couple of big contracts for cabin completion were signed.
Comlux is a unique company. It is a one stop shop for business aviation. We are able to offer full package for the aircraft owner: aircraft purchase, cabin refurbishment, aircraft management, charter sale. The only thing that is left to the customer is to fly!:)
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