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Planning and operations constitute a major part of the aviation industry. While commercial airlines are trying to perfect their everyday operational woes, there is a great void of effective management on the non-commercial general aviation side in India.
Sensing this void to manage the steep rise in chartered and company flights in India, Prem, set up EFlight, a B2B platform in 2015, that helps pilots of these planes obtain all clearances in advance, without losing out on time. These swift clearances in turn, ensure that guests on these flights are able to take-off on time to avoid missing those crucial meets.
One of its Kind
Using his 18-year experience as an Air Traffic Controller and extensive network with the pilot community in India, he managed to build a platform, which he says has no competition at all in the country.
“We are the only website in India that is connected to Airport Authority of India’s network allowing pilots to file plans digitally and obtain airport clearances in advance thereby avoiding the need to fix flight plan or visit to Air Traffic Control units,” says Prem. “Till date we have received more than 55,000 flight plans, and on an average get 110 flight plans a day,” he adds.
The venture boasts of serving scores of High Net Worth Individuals along with corporate clients like Bajaj Auto, VRL Aviation, Jupiter Aviation, GMR Aviation, GVK Aviation, Zoom Air, Pawan Hans and many more.
Riding on the Monopoly Wave
While most startups in India are facing the wrath of a cluttered market, EFlight’s operational space is a big boon for the venture. Although some global companies do offer flight planning software, only a handful of general aviation operators and owners have opted for it due to its steep cost and absence of India on their coverage plans.
“Surprisingly, there has been no challenges till date for EFlight as we are India’s only flight planning company. All the new client acquisitions have come through referral means and even today we do not have a marketing team,” says Prem.
The company uses the very popular aggregator business model but in a space that is relatively untapped. It offers discounted rates for fuel at 1% less, ground handling at 5% less & 5 star hotel bookings at 10% less.
Aerospace Opportunities for Startups
The aerospace and aviation domain is rarely mentioned when it comes to startups in India. While high costs are seen as the main barrier for entry into the sector, Prem feels data-driven solution for this industry is the need and with the right expertise the scope is huge
“By 2025 more than 150 airports globally are likely to be covered by Airlines with Tier II & III cities being the main focus. This will make regulations for General Aviation even tougher and challenging,” says Prem. “Global companies that are operating in this space lack local knowledge of the Indian market and are quite content concentrating on China, Europe & the US market creating a huge opportunity for indigenous ventures to target this space,” he adds.