Owning or even chartering your own private airplane is the epitome of jet-set travel, quite literally, and jetting into a beautiful destination to vacation in a luxury villa in Southeast Asia is about as perfect as it gets. Of course, alongside pleasure, business is one of the main impetuses to invest in your own plane too.
Far from simply being the ultimate high-end toy, private jets appeal to those who value their time and need flexibility, convenience, and customization. In other words, investing in your own airplane is justified on a practical level, even if it does fulfil a childhood dream or two for many.
Imagine jetting off when you want, where you want, and with whomever you want. Sounds dreamy but how do you choose an airplane, plan flights, arrange permits, and organize crew? The responsibility of owning an aircraft can nix the advantages unless management is part of that package.
So what is it like to own your own jet? The Luxury Listing caught up with Mark Thibault whilst he touched down who is the Founder and Managing Director of
T3 Aviation Group which comprises of T3 Private Jets Asia -Hong Kong, T3 Aviation Solutions-Thailand, and T3 Private Jets Management Limited Pte.-Singapore.
How did you come to be running a company that sells aircraft?
I have been an aviation enthusiast since I was a child. My aviation career began when I was only 14, washing airplanes at a local airport. I grew up in aviation and eventually set out from the corporate life to start my own company. Selling aircraft is only one of our business lines, but it is my favorite because of the diversity of clientele and the excitement that it brings.
Are you a pilot yourself?
Yes, fixed wing land and sea planes as well as a C-130 Flight Engineer.
What would be the ultimate plane to own or charter?
They are all great. The ultimate aircraft to own is the one that does the job you need done. It all depends on the mission and the clients desires. The sky is the limit.
What do you sell and to whom?
We sell and service a variety of business jet aircraft, helicopters, and even some smaller turbo-props. We generally sell to tycoons, heads of state, corporations, and high net worth individuals (HNWIs).
What is the most expensive aircraft you have sold and for how much?
We supported the sale of a private Airbus A330, which once completed was nearly 400M USD.
What are some of the lux features that have that ‘wow’ factor on any of the charter jets or retail jets?
There is almost no limit to the customization of a privet jet. We have seen karaoke rooms, Jacuzzis, and 7-Star appointments that never fail to amaze.
If I want to own an aircraft what do I need to do?
First, decide what you want and/or need. Then hire an experienced consultant to assist you in finding an aircraft that meets your needs. The pitfalls in purchasing an aircraft are many, so it is money well spent to have someone looking out for your best interest.
As part of your management services what do you offer?
We provide pilots and support staff for aircraft operations, maintenance, sales and charters. We offer a range of services and cater to the requirements of our VVIP clientele.
Where do people ‘park’ their planes when they travel?
The beauty of owning an aircraft is that you can go where you want, when you want. Parking is a consideration and we have to plan accordingly. Normally, you can park at most major airports for some time.
Owning a plane is a major investment for a depreciating asset, so isn’t it a pure indulgence?
Most corporations/HNWIs own aircraft because time is money. A business jet or helicopter is a tool that enables the owner to make much more efficient use of their time.
Where is the most incredible place you have flown into in SEA?
I enjoy seeing and experiencing new places, so it is impossible to answer this with just one. SEA is such a diverse place, I like it all. Thailand holds a special place in my heart though because of the people.
What is the ultimate luxury holiday destination for you?
In Thailand, Krabi, Phuket and Bangkok and I also love Hong Kong and Bali. Our customers often fly into destinations to stay at luxury villas.
What is a must-have luxury when flying?
Convenience and unparalleled service.
Is there airplane food on jet charters?
Food is included with completely customizable menus, personal catering, and impeccable service
What do you love about flying a plane?
It offers you 3 dimensional freedom. Much like scuba diving, you can move about in any direction. The views are incredible!
How does being a seaplane pilot compare to land planes in terms of the experience?
Flying a seaplane is the most fun you can have with your clothes on. It is an exhilarating experience and you never land on the same runway twice.
Have you had any well-known customers that you can talk about?
Yes and no.
You are also involved with yacht charters. Are you a sailor yourself?
Yes and yes, but only for fun. We support the yacht management for some of our aviation clients, who also own yachts.
What yachting trips do you offer in Thailand?
We have everything from day trips to fully catered mega-yacht trips.
Luxury is… a way of life that can always be tailored to fit any budget.