With the global pandemic raging around us and people becoming fearful about flying, private jets have emerged as a great alternative to commercial flights to those who can afford them. This has not gone unnoticed by ZAS Group’s Executive Flights Director, Osman Zarkani, and his brother, Omar Zarkani, the Group’s Managing Director. Believing that the time was opportune, they recently launched the ZAS Jet Club which provides luxurious private jets with impeccable service on and off their flights to its members. eniGma’s Ezz Al-Turkey was pleased to meet the Zarkani brothers on one of their luxury private jets to chat about their recent venture and to find out why they think private flying is the way to go at this time
How did the idea for starting ZAS Jet Club come about?
Osman: It was a natural progression for us. ZAS started as an import export company for agricultural products, which later on became a cargo company and then eventually became a passenger transport company. Today, we are progressing into the field of private charter jets, consultancy and management. We realised that this is the right time for our services. A lot of people are starting to fear flying because of the pandemic. They also fear being surrounded by a lot of people in crowded terminals. With our service, you have your private terminal and you also have your private aircraft, so you avoid all the congestion, and of course you get to fly whenever you want. You basically choose your own flight time, your menu and the people who fly with you. These are all the things that come along with flying in private jets!
ZAS Jet Club is entrusted with the provision of private jet services to our clients. It covers all types of aircraft, long range and mid-range, and encompasses all related services. We have a fleet of 14 aircrafts of all ranges and we cover all aspects of the market. We are pioneering this service in Egypt at the right time, given the current economic situation and the general environment. We are undertaking this marketing campaign to showcase what ZAS Jet Club is aiming to do; namely to provide charter services, not only from Egyptian airports but also internationally, while catering to all travelling clients’ needs.
Omar: In addition to providing the client with the right aircraft, we provide all the services that go along with it; including all the logistics involved, starting with when the passengers leave their house to boarding the aircraft. For example, one of the things we do is pick up luggage ahead of time. Passenger doesn’t have to worry about their luggage as it is already in the aircraft when they board. We also take care of all immigration and custom procedures beforehand. And we provide limousine services to and from the airport upon departure and arrival, of course. We also arrange accommodation if needed.
Another important part of our services is our tailored catering on board the aircraft. We tailor our catering according to the passengers’ requests. They can choose from a menu that includes different cuisines, and that ranges from seafood to an Arab or Egyptian breakfast. We are proud of our really wide range of choices. This is what makes our services at the high standard required for VIP travel experiences.
What challenges did you face as you started?
Omar: The main challenge was to provide a standard of service that is very high. It is very important to have the right kind of staff who are able to provide this high standard of service. They have to go through a vigorous interview process, to make sure that they are up to par with what ZAS represents. They should understand what it is to fly private; and they should know how to deal with different types of people, like passengers who are in a rush, or passengers who are stressed as they fly to an important meeting and don’t want to worry about anything else.
Our staff are trained to understand the different moods and situations our clients may be in. We have a very diverse clientele, and each passenger comes with his or her own special situation. So, it is a challenge for the staff to fully understand each client’s situation. Another challenge we sometimes face is when there is a flight delay that is not in our hands.
If a passenger is not aware of the technical issues that can happen, our staff needs to be able to explain it to the passenger. Staff should also have alternative solutions available for the passenger if a delay does happen.
Tell us about the different types of clientele that you recieve…
Osman: We have different types of clients for our services. Of course, we get a lot of business people who have projects spread across the region. They are a big part of our clientele, obviously, because they travel a lot and they require a specific standard for flying.
However, we don’t like or want to limit ourselves to businessmen, private flying is convenient for everyone, and every passenger comes with a set of needs. We try to cater to these needs and tailor the flight experience around the passenger.
Not to mention, we have passengers from the entertainment industry, who need to fly
private. We get a lot of famous singers and actors flying to different events inside and outside Egypt. We also have high-worth individuals who fly privately for leisure.
Then, of course, we have ambulance aircrafts for people with a medical need to travel to another country in an emergency or just for a medical service. These are very important sort of flights that require their own preparations. It’s important to provide aircrafts with equipment on board to serve any type of medical case, as well as a doctor on board to attend to the patient. The doctor could be provided by us, or the patient could bring his own medical team.
Can you expand on the privileges that ZAS Jet Club members enjoy?
Omar: We have a portfolio for every member who flies with us regularly. We study the needs of every member so that we can offer him services tailored to him. We get to know a lot about the likes and dislikes of each member, for example, what kind of food, what kind of entertainment, they like, etc. So when they fly, they can expect us to serve them what they like to eat, at the time they like, and to provide them with the crew they prefer to fly with, etc.
We compile and study all the data to make sure that every aspect of the flight is tailored to the specific client. This makes it so much easier to offer the client all the things that satisfy him. If a passenger is not a member of the ZAS Jet Club, we take the time to get to know him more.
Osman: Another advantage to being a ZAS member is our “fly now and pay later” agreement with them. As a member, you don’t need to deal with financial issues before you take off. This relieves you of an important hassle before flying.
What can we expect from ZAS in the next 10 years?
Osman: The next step we are preparing for is aircraft management, because a lot of our clients are potential buyers as well. Some of them want to purchase their own aircraft but don’t know where to start. We help them by asking them questions like, ‘what type of flights are you planning?’ and ‘what destinations do you usually go to?’ If they fly within the region, we recommend a certain type of aircraft; and if they usually go on long flights, we recommend another type. We will do all the management and maintenance of their aircraft and supply them with a crew. We have decades of expertise int his field and we can use that as an assett to help potential clients. We are not just focusing on Egypt. Aviation is a global service.