UK bespoke private aircraft charter broker and consultancy company ConnectJets is seeking investment to acquire business aircraft and expand its brand within China, where it believes there is huge pent-up demand for luxury travel.

The three-year-old company offers a range of bespoke services, including aircraft sales, leasing, ad hoc/block charter and a jet card and loyalty programme from its base at Fairoaks airport in the south of England. "We are a boutique service with a brand that stands out from the masses," says ConnectJets founder Gabriella Somerville. "Business aviation is a very crowded market that can be complicated and confusing for the consumer, so simplicity and purchasing power is key," she adds.

ConnectJets has flourished since its launch at the height of the economic downturn. "The distressed market has given our customers greater buying power," Somerville admits.

"The ConnectJets business model is very successful. We are a debt-free and profitable company and are now looking for investment to take us to the next level."

The company is aiming to acquire a dedicated fleet in the medium- to long-term to accommodate the growing demand for lease options. "Leasing requirements have grown exponentially over the last 12 months; this vehicle offers an attractive alternative to ownership," says Somerville. "For travel itineraries spanning over a period of months or for corporations looking to manage asset risk, leasing is a viable solution which will present numerous opportunities over the coming years."

ConnectJets has attracted a loyal and stable customer base within Europe and the company is now seeking to franchise the brand within China and Hong Kong, she adds. Somerville is currently acting as an advisor for state-owned company AVIC culture and Wang Productions to help "develop the infrastructure" to support business and general aviation within this vast country, she says. "They are hungry for business aviation in China. There are tremendous opportunities here for ConnectJets," she adds.

Source: Flight International