PHILJETS Aero Services, Inc., a Philippine-based aerospace company, is hoping to surpass last year’s helicopter deliveries as “strong demand” continues.

“As a company, Bell delivered 156 helicopters globally last year and our aim is to do more than that for this year,” the company said in an e-mailed statement in response to a BusinessWorld query.

Philjets is the independent representative of American aerospace manufacturer Bell Textron, Inc. in the Philippines.

“We continue to see strong demand and order activity for Bell helicopters in the corporate segment for the Philippines, which is similar trend to what we are seeing across Asia Pacific,” it added.

Bell helicopters are used by businesses and individuals to meet their business and personal objectives, mainly to travel safely and efficiently.

The company has said the Bell 429, a light helicopter, continues to gain appeal among corporate customers in the Philippines.

The Bell 429 is considered capable of completing a range of missions including search and rescue, medical evacuations, natural disaster relief, national security, and military training.

Asked if the company is in talks with the Philippine military about supplying new units, Philjets said: “The Armed Forces of the Philippines and especially the Philippine Air Force have been operating Bell helicopters for decades.”

“They understand the value that Bell aircraft can bring to their missions and most importantly they value the support we have shown them to keep their helicopters flying. As a company, we are always speaking with the Armed Forces of the Philippines to show how our Bell helicopters can help them fulfill their requirements in a safe, reliable and efficient manner,” it added.

It said the competition in the Philippine helicopter market has become “intense,” as in other countries with a robust helicopter industry.

“We are confident that the safety and reliability and track record of providing good customer service will help us to stand out in a highly competitive industry,” Philjets noted.

The company announced last week the appointment of Reginald J. Arguelles as its general manager.

“Mr. Arguelles brings his extensive experience and international expertise to the role. Before joining Philjets, he was a technical instructor at the prestigious Lufthansa Technical Training Philippines,” it said in a statement.

He spent five years with PAL Express as engineering services and production control manager, then as senior manager and assistant vice-president, the company noted.

Mr. Arguelles said: “The Philippines has a wealth of talent and manpower is customer-centric. I plan to help them harness and reach their full potential towards excellent and consistent maintenance service.” — Arjay L. Balinbin