June 8, 2017:
DB Aviation of Portugal has added a Citation Mustang to its fleet. The Mustang joins a Hawker 400XP on DB’s AOC, which was finalised in November last year. Although the company was originally dedicated to brokerage and consultancy, accountable manager and owner Eduardo Borges says that a move into AOC charter was always the next phase of the plan.
“Both aircraft have good availability because the owner is quite keen to have them chartered,” Borges says. “They will be based in Barcelona and complement each other nicely as they have different cabins and serve totally different markets. We don’t tend to take on competing aircraft because this would be detrimental to the owners. Our established clients go to Africa and to Russia, which is the range that the eight-seat Hawker can manage. The Mustang is quite different, with shorter range, so France and the UK with a maximum of four passengers is the norm. The type of client that is seeking a Mustang is more price-orientated, whereas the Hawker customer is more space-orientated.”
Larger aircraft are by no means out of the question, as DB’s AOC has no limitations. “However we don’t want to get to the stage where the client is just a number,” adds Borges. “We want to maintain our close relationships, so this will be a challenge as we grow. I really don’t know how many aircraft we will end up with because it is about maintaining the level of quality that customers are seeking. I want to speak personally to all of the owners and so, as long as I can cope with that, we are OK. When we start to go over that, the business case is different and a decision will have to be taken. At this stage I am comfortable and happy with what we have achieved.
“I have established a very good network over the years and I will be able to draw on this as we move forward. In the end we managed to gain the AOC in less than four months. This was because I had already processed five AOCs, so that experience helped.”
Borges views the Portuguese authority as very effective and compliant, and says that this is a selling point for DB Aviation. “The authority understands the business requirements and the team there assists in any way it can. The culture is a good one, and because I also studied a lot in the UK, our company has a good cultural mix,” he concludes.