Asian Aerospace EVP Paj Rodriguez is the Filipino Tony Stark
October 2, 2018
Asian Aerospace EVP Paj Rodriguez runs the family business that provides VIPs access to a private fleet of jets and helicopters
Each day is different for Paj Rodriguez, the young Executive Vice President of Asian Aerospace. It is a family business that charters planes to a clientele of VIPs and high net worth businessmen. “We deal with different types of customers, all of whom are level A people. The key with us is we want to save our customers’ time. We don’t want them to waste it because time is one of the most valuable things,” he shares while sitting in a private lounge at the company’s hanger space and private terminal in Clark.
The company was created in 1996. Paj’s father, businessman Peter Rodriguez, had the idea of renting out two of the family-owned helicopters. Asian Aerospace Corporation continued to grow over the years, with the help of his two sons, Paj and his brother Piero, who works as the company’s VP for Special Accounts. Today, the company has 27 planes and helicopters in their fleet. They are also the country’s leading Business Aviation Company which, according to their website, offers “aircraft distributorships, aircraft charters and leasing, aircraft maintenance, fixed based operations, and logistics support.”
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Growing Up Like Iron Man
“I started off as just a simple business developer,” shares Paj on his beginnings within the company. Under the tutelage of his father, he developed his skills and business abilities. “What I had to do at the start was get a lot of accounts, make customers happy, and get more customers,” he mentions. Today, he is the company’s EVP, managing operations and dealing with organizational requirements, all while making sure that each and every Asian Aerospace client is completely happy with their services.
When asked what it was like growing up around flight hangers and private planes, Paj grins a little. “I spent college being called Tony Stark,” he laughs. Despite being compared to arguably the coolest Marvel superhero, the DLSU graduate takes it all with a grain of salt. He believes this is the life he was meant to live, and embraces his destiny to be part of the company. “Growing up, I knew I was going to end up here,” he shares while looking over the sprawling property.
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Time Share for Millionaires
One project Paj is proud of is the company’s Timeshare Membership. The business model is similar to property timesharing, but instead of a beach houses, it’s airplanes or helicopters. “People have gone past that ‘I want to own my own plane’ stage. With us, it’s like they’re buying their own plane, but they don’t have to deal with maintaining it,” he explains. The membership begins at P20 million and is fully consumable. This allows clients access to the company’s fleet of 12 helicopters and 15 different planes, which are prepositioned in different parts of the Philippines, ready to take them to any part of the globe. Once the P20 million has been consumed, members can conveniently top it up and continue their travels. Timeshare members are also offered 40% discounts on all their flights.
The process for booking your own plane or helicopter is very simple. “We try to make it very convenient for everybody. We have a 24/7 call center. You can even reach us on Viber, WhatsApp or WeChat! Once we get your request and destination, we process it and give you a quote,” he shares. Along with the figure, the company sends back a detailed itinerary, specifying the latest hour to take off and from what hanger or terminal to depart from, normally the most accessible and convenient to them. Once arrangements have been approved, the rest is seamless. An efficient staff takes care of passport, immigration and luggage requirements, for a stress free travel. Pre-ordered meals are available upon request. Paj shares that chartering an aircraft can take as short as 15 minutes for helicopters or 30 minutes for planes and emergencies, but the recommended time frame would be a five-day advanced notice.
Another service the company offers is the Emerald Class membership. For $2 million a year, clients have priority access to their fleet, 20% off on published rates, and consumable membership fees. The quality of their services are assured. “One thing we pride ourselves for is that the entire fleet is owned by us. We have direct control of the aircrafts, therefore if you want to fly on certain dates, the plane or helicopter will be available for you at that time.” In fact, this is a motto he lives by. Paj strongly believes that power means owning your own time. It is his mission to make sure his clients have their time, as well, with the company and its services at their every disposal.
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Asian Aerospace is the first and only company to offer these kinds of services. The fleet is equipped with some of the world’s finest aircrafts. “The most luxurious ones are the Gulfstream Business Jets, which are also known as the Rolls-Royce of business jets,” he says. Another premium plane available is the Pilatus PC12, which can land on unpaved or short runways. Their eight-seater plane can take off and land at only 800 meters, a top of mind choice for those looking to island hop around the Philippine islands.
Despite running a company that can very well take him to any part of the world, Paj admits he has a soft spot for the Philippines. He says that our beautiful islands are special, and that people should be exploring and experiencing them more. “You can go to other places, but we have 7,000 islands in our backyard.” Paj shares he is impressed with VIP customers who fly in from abroad and spends weeks just exploring the many wonders our archipelago has to offer.
The self-proclaimed workaholic plays tennis whenever he has free time. However, he still finds himself drawn to the office even on the weekends. “I get bothered when I’m too relaxed,” he laughs. His is the kind of dedication that contributes to the company’s success.
For more information on Asian Aerospace Corporation, visit <asianaerospace.com.ph/home/>, phone (+6 32) 6288 8900 or email <[email protected]>