A targeted international marketing campaign by a South Australian flying school has created a blue sky opportunity in Asia’s rapidly expanding aviation training market.
Using its $20,000 Export Partnership Program (EPP) grant from the South Australian Government, Hartwig Air Group has secured a significant deal with Vietnam Airlines and the Vietnamese Civil Aviation Authority to train airline cadets.
Hartwig Air’s deal, which has the potential to boost South Australian annual exports by more than $9 million, is the company’s first international airline training contract and consolidates Adelaide as a preferred training location for Asian markets.
Minister for Investment and Trade, Martin Hamilton-Smith, visited Hartwig Air at Parafield to congratulate the Hartwig team and to announce that the latest round of EPP funding has seen 33 recipients share in $791,000 in EPP funding.
The Export Partnership Program provides funding assistance to SME exporters looking to take their business to the next level of growth and job creation. Grants assist SME exporters to implement marketing and export development opportunities and access global markets.
The importance of this program to local businesses can be seen through the success of Hartwig Air Group. The Parafield-based company used its $20,000 grant to target Vietnam Airlines and the Vietnamese Civil Aviation Authority, with a view to gaining accreditation to train 100 cadets annually. They are among five national flying schools to gain accreditation.
As part of its marketing strategy, the company created a special website aimed at cadets and their parents, including a video and Vietnamese translations promoting the cultural, accommodation and lifestyle benefits of South Australia.
Hartwig Air is also set to take part in the forthcoming South Australian Government South East Asia trade mission to the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam, taking place between May 26 and June 5.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Investment and Trade Martin Hamilton-Smith
This outcome shows that services are just as important to exports as commodities.Building robust trade and export growth is a sure pathway to a strong economy and jobs. The EPP supports the South Australian Government’s goals by assisting SMEs to become ‘export ready’ and access global markets. More than 65,000 South Australian jobs are supported by exports, so it’s a valuable market segment.
Hartwig Air’s success is a great example of what the EPP can achieve. The contract’s a significant win, not only for Hartwig, but also for South Australia as it enhances our reputation in the region as a prime location for the training of commercial pilots.
We have a natural competitive advantage, with more flying days because of good weather than any other capital city and lower living costs, including accommodation.
The $20,000 grant used to help secure this flight training contract has the potential to translate to several million dollars of new money for South Australia. The South Australian Government encourages eligible businesses, looking to expand into new global markets, to apply for funding through the EPP.
Quotes attributable to Hartwig Air Director David Johnston
Adelaide’s cost advantage for cadets in comparison with eastern state counterpart schools has proved a crucial difference for international aviation firms looking for training providers.
If we achieve only a 30 per cent success rate with attracting current Vietnam Airline cadets, this will bring more than $9 million per annum of new money to South Australia, for the flight training costs, food, accommodation, and entertainment.
This has been made possible because of our $20,000 marketing grant and has given our school the opportunity to take our first significant step into the international aviation training market. It shows that seed funding can deliver serious results for South Australia.
Securing our first international airline training contract paves the way for further expansion, as the South East Asian market for commercial pilots is booming and we will be expanding our staff significantly.
Mainland China alone currently has an estimated deficit of about 50,000 pilots, without even counting their airline pilot requirements.
Under the Export Partnership Program, current and aspiring exporters can apply for grant funding of up to $50,000 for eligible projects and activities. For more information visit, www.statedevelopment.sa.gov.au/epp