Aviation industry newcomer Eaglexpress Air Charter Sdn Bhd plans to expand its fleet size to eight aircraft and hit a revenue of US$100 million (RM314.7 million) by year-end.
The charter airline, controlled by three Malaysians and a South Korean, plans to provide air charter to any airline, operator or company for hajj and umrah, air cargo and holiday/ business charters.
Its president/chief executive officer Capt Azlan Zainal Abidin said the revenue is expected to double in the second year of operation and reach US$200 million with the addition of new aircraft.
“Hajj and umrah in Asia is an ever growing market. In fact, currently there are not enough carriers to meet the demand in many Asian countries.
In line with this, agents in some Asian countries have signed with us to serve their markets,” he said at the official launch of the air charter in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, witnessed by Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri.
The airline expects the purchase of its first aircraft from Penerbangan Malaysia Bhd to be completed by March 2012. According to the company’s press kit, it plans to have three B747-400 passenger aircraft by March, another three similar planes by mid-2012, and another two B737-400/800 passenger aircraft by May 2012.
The company, incorporated in August 2011 with RM1 million in paid-up capital, is 40%-owned by South Korean Capt Shin Man Soo, who is the airline’s chief operating officer and chief financial officer. The other three shareholders, with a 20% stake each, are Azlan, former Home Ministry Secretary General Tan Sri Aseh Che Mat as its executive chairman, and Datuk Wan Ismail Abdul Rahman as its executive vice chairman.
On its operations, Eaglexpress said it does not sell seats but leases its aircraft for a single airline, operator or agent on a per block hour basis.
In his speech, Azlan said cargo services and holiday charter are area of operations which the group is actively pursuing.
He said it is "seriously looking at inbound tourism" and has already established an office in Seoul, South Korea, with offices in China and Indonesia also in the pipeline.