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Geoffery Cassidy — MAVERICK FLYER

A FUSION OF EAST AND WEST TAKES JET SERVICES TO THE NEXT LEVEL

ZETTA JET IS A RELATIVELY NEW NAME IN PRIVATE JET SERVICES, BUT IN ITS FEW YEARS OF OPERATION IT HAS BECOME A HOT FOCUS OF ATTENTION IN OUR INDUSTRY. Based in both Singapore and California, the company’s vision relies on a mix of Asian hospitality, American optimism, and European glamour for its ongoing success.

Its management team’s combined experience in private aviation exceeds a century’s worth. We speak with Geoffery Cassidy, managing director of Zetta Jet, of the company’s vision going forward. We also discuss the rapid growth of its fleet, including orders announced at the recent NBAA convention

Q: A ‘letter from the founders’ on the Zetta Jet website says: “Over the years, we have seen a steady decline in the service levels of private flight.” What are some specific examples of such decline?

Reasons for the decline in the service levels of private flight in recent years include older aircraft and slow response time. Substandard amenities, service offerings, catering and quality of crews and operation have also contributed to this decline.

Q: Zetta Jet has expanded exponentially over the past 18 months — despite the challenges of the world economy. What are the three main reasons that made this growth possible?

We entered into a market segment that was previously serviced by one player. Being a new player in the market, we offered something different, something that’s not been done in the market — on the block offering and the service level. The Zetta Jet experience, which combines the dedicated Asian service philosophy with the flexibility and ‘can-do’ spirit of the US, adorned with the glamour of Europe’s enduring chic, also made this growth possible. We deliver on our service, our customers come back for more, and they share the experience with others. We do have a good network of partners, such as Bombardier, banks, brokers and customers that have helped propel our success.

“WE HAVE CONTINUED TO BUY ADDITIONAL AIRCRAFT IN AN ACCELERATED STATE”

Q: One of your company’s selling propositions is that Zetta Jet makes private flight more personal. In what ways do you accomplish this?

The process starts from the booking of a trip to understanding a customer’s likes, dislikes, preferences and trip patterns. Using this information, we match the flight attendants, who come from different cultural backgrounds, with the clients. Menus are designed and personalised based on the preferences of the client. Profiles, travel patterns and preferences are constantly updated.

Q: You’ve been operating for less than two years in the current structure. What were the three main challenges in your operations and new client acquisition?

The first is availability. A lot of our business consists of repetitive customers. Due to the nature of growth and acceptance of the product in the market, we are often fully booked, and this creates availability issues. As such, this is a major reason we have continued to buy additional aircraft in an accelerated state. Since our launch in August 2015, we have grown from just one Global aircraft to a fleet of 10 in a span of just 14 months.

Another challenge is the standard of service. With such accelerated growth, we have had to invest a huge amount of time, resources and money at continued training in order to bring up the new hire service staff, crew and operations teams to the Zetta Jet standard to ensure it remains across the board.

Lastly, flexibility. As we grow and build our structure, requests become more and more challenging. However, we have set up a special go-to team that will standby for these special requests and tackle the out-of-the-norm demands.

Q: What were some of the most challenging customer requests that your team has fulfilled over the past year?

There are too many to mention, from drinking a martini with a certain glass from a certain make, to special requests for catering, such as noodles from a specific store. We always rise up to the challenge to meet the requests of our customers. And we deliver.

Q: What three most urgent improvements/changes do you wish to see in terms of civil aviation regulations or infrastructure in Asia?

I am pleased with the way the infrastructure has developed in Asia, especially the hubs in Singapore. The main point to mention is people forget where we come from; we are light years ahead of where we were 10 years ago.

“DEDICATED ASIAN SERVICE PHILOSOPHY, ‘CAN-DO’ SPIRIT OF THE US, EUROPE’S ENDURING CHIC”

Q: In one news interview early this year, you said Chinese female tycoons are the toughest customers. Is that still true today, and if yes, why?

If not, who is? We have conquered this customer and she is now a proud ambassador for Zetta Jet in China. I would say that they are all tough and we strive to meet their demands and expectations.

Q: In which countries do you see the fastest growth of demand for private travel services?

India, China and USA are bright stars with regards to growth.

Q: Please tell us about the best personalised features of the Global 6000 that you recently took delivery of, including the Internet connectivity.

This is the first line fit (new) aircraft that Bombardier has delivered to a customer and that has entered into service with the Ka-band system. It also presents a shift from basic satellite connectivity on aircraft to using an airborne network with Rockwell Collins’ ARINCDirect service.

Q: And please tell us about the aircraft you just ordered at NBAA 2016, and what they will add to your services and client conveniences.

We have ordered four Challenger 650 aircraft, expanding our service offers down a class of aircraft segment. This will allow us to service more shorter-range regional flights. As the backbone of many corporate fleets, Challenger aircraft are designed to facilitate inflight meetings. With the Challenger 650’s range capability of 4,000 NM (7,408 km), customers can fly nonstop from Dubai to Singapore.

Q: What are your plans for growth and expansion within the next three years?

Continuing our product offerings and building fleet growth and customer experience.

Q: Where do you see Zetta Jet in five years?

Being the number one private jet charter provider in the world.

SHARED LUXURY

What is one thing that surprises people about you?

Hard working

How did you earn your first dollar?

Raking the grass after my father mowed it

What did that teach you about money?

It doesn’t come easy

What was your first love?

Planes

Name someone you admire as a hero.

My father

Words to live by?

Never give up

What have you learned to value most in life?

More and more, it’s family