Bengaluru: Private jet and helicopter operator Jetsetgo Aviation Services Pvt. Ltd on Monday said it has raised an undisclosed amount from Puneet Dalmia, managing director of Dalmia Bharat Ltd, who invested in his personal capacity. A company executive, who did not want to be identified, said the amount is close to $2 million.
The funding will be used to expand the company’s ground presence in key airports, launch inter-city private jet shuttles, air ambulance services and an online platform for helicopter bookings.
In July, Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh-promoted YouWeCan Ventures acquired an undisclosed stake in JetSetGo. The executive mentioned earlier said the company is looking to raise an additional $4 million in the next couple of months.
“We are trying to simply bring aviation back to its roots and are putting the customer in front of everything else. With this singular focus on delivering superior value for every flight and for every customer, we are gaining loyalty of a genre of customers who probably are the most difficult to please generally,” said Kanika Tekriwal, CEO and co-founder of JetSetGo.
The company has done 75 trips since its launch and the average cost of travel is Rs.25,000 to Rs.1 crore, Tekriwal said. It has five jet planes and two helicopters ferrying mostly top executives of large corporations and celebrities.
Non-scheduled flight operators in India have steadily been spreading its wings, with the government’s focus on remote connectivity gathering steam in recent months.
“In aggregate, the private aviation industry in India is losing value. We are trying to change that. People generally misunderstand private air travel to be discretionary or only an indulgent form of travel. If one were to take a cross-section of Indian corporates and compare those that have consistently over performed over the years or contributed in higher proportion to economic growth, especially in Tier 2 or 3 (smaller cities) locations, one would see almost all relying on private aviation,” Sudheer Perla, co-founder of JetSetGo, said in a statement.
India’s regional aircraft fleet is estimated to grow from 55 in 2011 to 261 by 2025 at a compounded annual growth rate of 12-13%, according to a 2012 report by consultancy firm AT Kearney.
Public sector aviation companies like Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, National Aerospace Laboratories and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and private aviation companies are pursuing efforts to develop 19,30, 50 and 70-80 seater aircraft that are more suitable for regional connectivity.
“Whilst India continues to build, it is imperative that corporate India has the flexibility to bypass various infrastructure bottlenecks to get the flexibility and productivity gains required to enable a rapid broad-based transformation of the country we all aspire for,” Perla said.