STREAMLINED SERVICES

Colombia 2014 | TRANSPORT | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Alejandro Jaramillo, President of dbJet, on the demand for flights, the logistics of running an airline, and the company's pricing strategies.

Alejandro Jaramillo
BIOGRAPHY
Alejandro Jaramillo is President of dbJet.

What was dbJet's initial strategy when entering the Colombian market?

We were founded in April 2012; however, that was after seven years of work. Our idea was to supply a service to the executive market. If you consider the amount of wasted time at airports in terms of money, you grasp the importance of the service we provide, such as our seat by demand service. By this, I mean that if you want to go to Medellín you just pay for the seat and fly without being concerned about the rest of the plane. For example, a trip to Medellín involves picking you up from wherever you are in a Volvo XC-90, delivering you directly to the aircraft, and flying you to your destination where another Volvo picks you up and takes you to your meeting; there are no reservations required. All you have to do is make a phone call. This way the flying time is your time. It also offers complete piece of mind in terms of combining time for your job and your personal life.

How do you manage the logistics while providing your services at this impressive level of flexibility?

We will ultimately have 40 aircraft. There will be five in Cartagena, five in Bogotá, five in Cali, five in Medellín, and so forth. We are creating an intelligent software suite with a company in San Francisco that will adjust to the travel patterns of executives in Colombia. The beauty of this is that when I have to move a plane it will not fly empty. We are going to be donating that time to foundations and NGOs so that people can travel anywhere in the country at no cost. Why not use that empty flight to help people?

Do you provide services to destinations beyond Colombia?

With the same format you will be able to fly to destinations abroad. Furthermore, once I have this format established in Colombia the idea is to sell the franchise to other countries and start the same idea around the world.

What is the current state of your fleet, and how do you expect to expand it?

We are about to receive 40 aircraft. There will be three Phenom 100s for local flights, and we will fly to Europe in a Gulfstream 280, which is a larger aircraft. In the future, the idea is to have over 450 employees, of whom more than 100 will be pilots. We also aim to realize 2,000 flights a month within Colombia.

What do you think of the transport sector in Colombia in terms of competition?

In our case, we do not have any. I do not foresee competition either in the commercial area or for cargo. Nor would I be in competition with charter planes because they charter the plane for a specific flight, and I will be taking care of most of the regions around the country. Our idea is also to serve the east of the country, which is drastically underserved.

What are your average prices per flight?

Medellín, our most requested route, would cost around Ps1.1 million per seat for a round trip. If you compare that with commercial airlines, you are just comparing the transportation part and not with an included stay in a hotel, for example. In our case you do not have to stay, you can return the same day. The price includes all office services at the airport as well. If you need such services you just plug in your computer, use the internet, send any documents you need to our printer at the airport, and when you get there the corrected papers are ready for you to go.