Nel Sarmiento says there is an appetite in the Philippines for Diamond aircraft.
Pacific JetCorp is finding success as the Diamond Aircraft representative in the Philippines. The company has been active in the business aviation industry since the 1980s, principally engaged in sales and marketing. It has previously represented OEMs including Cessna and AgustaWestland.
Partner Nel Sarmiento is looking forward to offering PistonPower programmes to clients with Diamond aircraft, adding that the Philippines, with more than 7,000 islands, has always been a strong market for private aviation: “In the Philippine market over the last 10 years, we have seen a steady growth of varying aircraft types across all sectors of the market whether it be piston, turboprop, jet or helicopter. Business operations were limited under government-imposed COVID restrictions in 2020, however we expect a full recovery within 2021. On the flight training side, the Philippines with less restricted airspace, excellent weather and cheap airways, landing and parking fees has become an important hub for regional training schools. Quite a number of new schools have emerged in recent years training pilots for regional airlines, and we see this market continuing to grow as the airline industry recovers.”
She believes the Diamond product line is unique for a number of reasons. “Firstly, the Austro AE300 diesel engines powering the DA40 series, DA42 and DA62 burn readily available and cheaper Jet A-1. This is an important consideration for business and training aircraft operating out of the greater Manila area where Avgas is in short supply and, if available, is sold in drums. Coupled to the AE300 engine is a three-bladed constant speed propeller with automatic pitch control. Secondly, Diamond aircraft have glass cockpits with the fully integrated Garmin G1000 NXi flight deck and the DA40 in a training role offers the optional GFC700 autopilot, traffic advisories, synthetic vision technology, stormscope, flight data recorder and cabin air conditioning. Thirdly, the composite airframe is corrosion resistant in an Asian operating environment. With the PistonPower programmes that we offer, we have a stable maintenance budget to cover scheduled and unscheduled protection.”
All sectors of general aviation in the Philippines in 2020 were affected by COVID operating restrictions. For the first three months of the government mandated Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), the only flights that were allowed were medevac and medical cargo. Business aviation flights have not yet returned to the pre-COVID frequency but with vaccines becoming available by month end, Sarmiento sees the corporate and training markets recovering in 2021.
She concludes: “Our plans for Diamond in 2021 will focus on both the training market with the DA40NG and the four-seat DA42 as well as the business or owner pilot market with the new DA50 RG single and the six seat DA62 twin. With every proposal we make, we always provide them with the PistonPower programme. We continue to highlight the advantage of these maintenance programmes, not only during their course of operation whether it be within the warranty period or post warranty period, not to mention that these programmes increase the value of the aircraft.”
Originally posted at Business Air News