Comlux KZ – a movement in development

2018 has ended very positively for the Comlux Group. All segments added equally well, traffic and raid increased, new aircraft under control appeared, they worked perfectly in Comlux Completion.

 The owners will soon receive their first BBJ Max 8 and ACJ320neo, and the group is announcing new services. BizavNews tells a lot and constantly about the Comlux Group, trying not to miss any news. But there is a place where we fly with a special, if you want a festive mood. As you guessed, this is Alma-Ata, or rather, the head office of Comlux-KZ, where we are always welcomed and not left unanswered with none of our questions. And there are always a lot of questions.

But let me start with a little excursion into history. Comlux-KZ, being the “daughter” of the Comlux group, was formed in early 2008. And in September of the same year, after receiving the national certificate of the RK operator, the first flight was completed. The main reason for the creation of a subsidiary in the largest country in the post-Soviet space was the natural demand for services, primarily for the management of aircraft, which were actively acquired after the crisis of 2007–2008. In this short time, Comlux-KZ has become the undisputed leader in the country’s business aviation market with a serious fleet (Dry Superjet-100 / RRJ-95, Embraer Legacy 600/650, Bombardier Challenger 850 / CRJ200), certified technical staff, and modern infrastructure. Now the company is actively working in several segments: it deals with aircraft servicing, management, carries out commercial flights for Kazakhstan customers and provides handling services, including for transit flights. At Almaty International Airport, Comlux-KZ owns a hangar complex, which, without exaggeration, can be called the company’s pride. The total area of ​​the hangars, and two of them, is 4590 square meters. m, which allows a total of at least five Embraer Legacy 650 or a similar number of Bombardier Challenger 850, as well as it can stand, for example, the height and width of the Boeing 757 aircraft. Here is also located next to the administrative building, which is home to more than 100 employees.

Last year, Comlux-KZ again showed a positive trend. Increased traffic and on-the-fly performance.

From 2018, citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan received visa exemptions when visiting the United Arab Emirates. This country became one of the most visited in 2018. Traffic grew by 20-25%, and flight requests came six hours before departure. Russia became the second most popular country, which is not surprising. Throughout the year, the company continued to actively exploit the Sukhoi Superjet-100, which has been located in Comlux-KZ since January 2017. According to company representatives, the Sukhoi Superjet-100 is generally a great plane with good opportunities for business travelers.

Alexander Kachurin, CEO, Comlux-KZ, said, “In fact, there is simply no such aircraft in our region. The only negative that we would have noted is our location. The dry Superjet-100 does not have enough distance to the key points in Europe and Southeast Asia, but at the same time we carry out flights to Russia and the UAE without any problems. The liner is certified according to the requirements of both EASA and IAC, and this is another additional plus. Coordination with the owner of the aircraft is necessary, but we get it quickly and the aircraft is always at the service of our passengers.”

Now the Comlux-KZ charter fleet consists of six aircraft: from the Challenger 850 to ACJ319. The most popular jets among passengers are the Challenger 850 and Embraer 650. The latter without any problems performs non-stop flights to London, another of the company’s popular destinations.

This year, Comlux-KZ has scheduled a major overhaul of the Challenger 850. In addition to technical work, the aircraft will receive a new modern interior, including high-speed Internet, modern communications and in-flight entertainment system.

In general, the company currently has enough carrying capacity, and the park itself is practically optimized. Although for charter always want a little more solutions, but in Comlux-KZ planning is a fundamental factor.

The main direction of business is still the management of aircraft. The company has permanent stable customers and owners. Irina Pye, Executive Director, Comlux-KZ, said, “We can provide all aircraft for charter flights. Everything we do in terms of commercial charter flights is the company’s profit. We are trying to develop charters. But the priority is to serve the owners.”

The pricing policy in the company is quite simple. There is a certain margin below which the company will not fly. Therefore, the price tag can be called “above average”. Sales of charter flights by 80% are carried out by Comlux-KZ itself. As explained in the company, the region is quite small and customers know all the operators personally.

But the portrait of the client over the past year has practically not changed, despite the fact that customers are trying to reduce the cost of flights, optimize costs (cancellation of the VIP hall, etc.). Customer preferences by type of aircraft one thing – non-stop flight. Another factor that influenced the increase in traffic is the exit of the Republic of Kazakhstan from the EU blacklist. Now, clients fly to Europe without problems, which has allowed to significantly expand the geography of flights, and hence the flight time. By the way, as representatives of the company note, the client is now very smart: he knows everything about flights and specifics, he asks only the right questions.

Comlux-KZ does not hide the fact that the Russian market is one of the most important and promising for them. Timur Jarlykasimov, sales manager, Comlux-KZ, said, “We tried to go to Russia. In Russia, a lot of flights. We think that this year we will try to regulate the location of aircraft, for example, up to two weeks we will try to base business jets in Moscow. The market dictates that it is better to try to work in a market that is very mobile than the aircraft being on the base without applications.”

Currently, Comlux-KZ is planning to expand the services of handling and MRO. There are all possibilities for this, first of all, infrastructure in Almaty and Astana and the ability to provide ground handling services.

Currently, the Comlux-KZ engineering service is certified by the aviation authorities of Kazakhstan and the European Union for PART 145 EASA. According to certificates, the company works with many types of aircraft, including Embraer Legacy 600/650, Bombardier Challenger 850 / CRJ200, Challenger 604/605 and Global 5000/6000. On its own, the company’s technical staff performs linear maintenance, including work similar to A-checks, and not only on their own aircraft, but also provides services to outside customers, among whom there is even a “government” Berkut. For example, on Embraer Legacy 600/650 Comlux KZ independently does 12 monthly works (L2 check), and on Challenger 850 performs works up to С-check. In principle, experts are ready to help any operator, both flying under EASA EU-OPS, and recognizing Part 145 or the Kazakhstan certificate of the Maintenance Organization.

“We had and still have big plans for obtaining authorization from Bombardier and Embraer to provide services to third-party companies. This issue is on the agenda, as there are no similar centers in the region. On our part, the project is fully ready, and we are actively discussing this with manufacturers. But, in order to come close to implementation, you need to carry out warranty work more and develop other services. Throughout our history, we have paid great attention to the maintenance and development of certified personnel. Now the share of maintenance and repair in the interests of the company is 90%, and only 10% are third-party customers. But the number of third-party customers is growing as well as the number of aircraft in the region. We are in constant contact with manufacturers, we confirm our competence, showing that in post-warranty service we perform all the work without any problems and restrictions. There are lots of positive points. Now the region has a deficit in support of Bombardier Global aircraft. We are developing plans to expand opportunities for this type of aircraft, including the organization of a mobile group in AOG. Our colleagues from Comlux Malta are actively involved in advancing our interests and already have first results. We currently provide and carry out a list of works to eliminate defects, to perform planned technical works, to replace units (when interacting with Bombardier) at very reasonable prices, and in the absence of an adequate number of specialized producer centers in the region and, given our location, this is a good help for owners and operators,” Irina Pye summed up.

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