GainJet Aviation is a leading private aircraft charter operator and management company headquartered in Athens, Greece. GainJet Aviation also manages a sales office in London and works with partners from all over the world.
The company has a versatile fleet of VIP aircraft positioned throughout Europe and the Middle East. For the past decade, Captain Ramsey Shaban has held strategic roles at the company. He has been the President of GainJet since the company’s inception in 2005. He then took on the dual role of president and CEO in 2012. Captain Ramsey had over 35 years of experience in aviation. He took a moment to sit down with All About Aviation to tell us about the VVIP services market in Greece and the Middle East, aviation challenges in the region and his vision for his company.
All About Aviation.gr: Why did GainJet Aviation choose Greece as a destination to license an airline that offers VVIP services with top class airplanes to international customers?
I am often asked that question, why choose Greece? The answer is quite simple, it was and still is a good strategic move.
Our target markets are Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Therefore, Greece as a base of operation is in a well-positioned strategic location based in the center of it all. We have easy and quick access to all three markets, which enables us to better serve them. The location, plus the fact that Greece is a member of the European Union and regulated by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)provides us with great advantages as a VIP jet charter operator.
Another important factor that led to our decision to base the operation in Greece is the availability of a highly skilled workforce. Our company is as strong as its people. Our capable, dedicated and skilled team has helped us ensure a smooth operation and combined with excellent service, has led to the continuous growth for our company. In 2006, we commenced with one aircraft and a 10 member team. I’m happy and proud to say that we are now a 90-strong team with a nine aircraft fleet (including VIP Boeings and a Gulfstream G650). We have taken a total of 15 Gulfstream deliveries since then.
Many heads of state, celebrities, rock bands, movie-stars, sports teams and top executives from multinational corporations have flown with Greek registered aircraft operated GainJet. It’s certainly something to be proud of.
All About Aviation.gr: What is your opinion of the Greek legislation system and what improvements should be made?
Aviation in Greece is compliant to the high standards of EASA regulations and rulings so safety is our number one priority. Our safety standards are of the same high standard laid out by EASA.
All About Aviation.gr: How do you deal with the international competition?
As mentioned, Greece’s excellent strategic and central location enables us to serve our international pool of customers, which incidentally currently makes up 97 percent of our client base.
The majority of our fleet is spread around the region, hence we further enhance our quick and easy access to our customers when they need us. Lots of our customers will need our services within a short time frame. Therefore, being quick and mobile allows us to better serve them.
We also focus on differentiating ourselves with the types of products and services we offer to our clients. The aim is to provide every passenger with a customized VIP travel experience that is tailored to their requirements and needs. We do everything we can to ensure that the mission is accomplished.
All About Aviation.gr: Is GainJet also involved with other activities such as product development?
We are a private jet operator and management company. That is our core business. However, we do look at developments and projects that are consistent with such an operation. For example, we are indirectly involved with a project that is developing “quick change” auxiliary fuel tank systems that allows a flexible configuration for aircraft based on range vs. baggage space needed. It provides flexibility on a mission by mission basis. This is a product that certainly has applications and advantages for private aircraft as well as commercial airlines. We’ve seen plenty of interest worldwide already.
All About Aviation.gr: What is GainJet’s vision for the next five years?
GainJet has grown continuously for the last nine years, despite a global economic recession that severely affected the global business aviation market. It has been an exciting time for GainJet as we’ve developed our fleet and operation, and we expect to grow further with some exciting projects down the line.
We’re in the process of installing the “quick change” auxiliary fuel tank system on our VIP Boeing 737 and plan on further developing our VIP Airliner fleet.
We are also proud of our excellent relationship with Gulfstream and are looking to further expand our Gulfstream fleet. We have access to financing for aircraft operating with GainJet and can even pass those benefits to our customers who are interested in purchasing Gulfstream aircraft.
All About Aviation.gr: What is the biggest challenge in the aviation industry today, in Greece and worldwide?
The costs of operating have generally increased over the last decade. Therefore, the biggest challenge is managing costs while still providing the excellent service that our customers not only deserve but also expect. We have two priorities:
1. This is most important to us: the safety of our passengers, crew and equipment.
2. The V-VIP excellent level of service we offer our customers. We mean in all aspects of the operation. It starts from the moment of booking, pre-flight, at the airport, onboard and even after the flight.
Any cost management must not in any way affect those two priorities. So that in itself is the challenge. On a side note, the recent decrease in fuel prices has assisted with this mission, but it is a guarantee that sooner or later fuel prices will rise again so nothing has really changed for the operator. One still has to manage costs, while maintaining excellent service and a safe operation.