TAKING OFF

Peru 2017 | TRANSPORT | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Carlos Cueva Arevalo, General Manager of ATSA Peru, on developing the private aviation business, guaranteeing important maintenance services, and meeting the unique demands of the sector.

Carlos Cueva Arevalo
BIOGRAPHY
Carlos Cueva Arevalo graduated from the Peruvian Naval School, and has postgraduate studies were in digital communication engineering at the National University of Engineering in Peru – INICTEL and public investment projects at Del Pacifico University. He worked for 25 years for the Peruvian Navy, mainly in naval aviation as a qualified pilot, accumulating over 7,000 hours’ experience. Since November 2013, he has served as the General Manager of ATSA.

What opportunities exist within the private aviation sector in Peru?

Aviation is a promising sector. We have been working for the last two years in the corporate VIP segment of this sector, which until recently was completely unattended. We have been working closely with five-star hotels and travel agencies to offer packages. We are the only company in Peru with two jets. Our increasing efforts in the last couple of years have earned us a prominent position in the region; we received the Best Private Jet in the Region award from the World Travel Awards in recognition of our efforts, investment, and perseverance in the segment. We have also made significant efforts in the local market here in Peru, where, unfortunately, there is not a widespread culture of private charters. This is due to the austerity years the country went through. However, we have put together a convincing campaign to make potential clients realize that their time is valuable, and that by hiring an aircraft they can avoid losing days to traveling.

How would you assess the level of competition in the sector?

Currently, companies operating in the charter segment are rather small and tend to focus on the jungle areas. Our main competitors are regular airlines that allocate an airplane or two to cover the charter demand there is at the corporate level. This makes us rather unique in the industry. Having said that, one of our competitive advantages is on-time flights and arrivals, since we do not depend on other regular flights to free our jets. We have three PA-42 planes and we are currently considering replacing them; we want to purchase two BE-1900, a jet can that easily land in geographically difficult lanes.

How much are you investing in the maintenance of your fleet and what is the importance of the highly qualified team working in this business? 


We have commercial partnerships with leading companies and in the event we need technical support, this is provided to us in the shortest time possible. This technical support can even include the entire change of engine of the aircraft and covers our entire fleet. We also invest in technicians, who mostly come from the Peruvian Armed Forces. This is the main source of a technically skilled and capable workforce. In this context, we also have a partnership in place to train our mechanics. We do not consider this an expenditure, but an investment. Comprehensive training is also provided to pilots. We believe security and quality are two of our main competitive advantages. In terms of security, we hold certificates from the Fly Safety Foundation, which brings high levels of reputation and reliability. These are ongoing efforts to continuously improve security standards and levels. As per quality, we have certified our processes with the ISO 9001. These achievements have taken place mostly in the last couple of years. We believe this is what will make us successful and reliable—customers look for quality in service and security.

What is the average profile of your customers and what are the most common destinations you cover with your flights?

We focus on the corporate segment, which is comprised largely of oil and mining companies. In the last two years, this has changed due to the challenging situation in these sectors, which has encouraged us to look for new business lines and opportunities. At the moment, we strongly focus on air ambulance services for our clients and for the general public through insurance companies. We are currently the only company offering such integral services. We have our own medical staff and equipment. In Peru, there are companies that have the medical equipment and staff, but they do not have the aircraft to offer the service. In regards to the destinations, we fly regularly to Piura, Cusco, Arequipa, Trujillo, Pisco, and many other locations in Peru. In the region we occasionally fly to Bogotá, Rio de Janeiro, Quito, Panama, and to farther destinations like New York and Madrid.