Perks and privileges await private pilots and recreation­al aviators who sign up for membership at flying clubs


Aflying club membership accords one with an elite status on top of a plethora of perks, privileges and other benefits. There are several prominent flying clubs around the Asia Pacific region such as the Republic of Singapore Flying Club, whose history goes back to 1928, and is widely considered as one of the oldest flying clubs in the world.

Other notable and well-known flying clubs in Asia include the renowned Thai Flying Club, located near Pattaya, and is the first and oldest flying club in the Kingdom of Thailand.

There are many incentives to joining a flying club in one’s hometown. Member privileges and benefits at these flying clubs often include the exclusive use of club facilities, VIP lounges, aircraft rentals, discounted food and beverages, community events and much more.

Among the reasons for joining a private aviation club are the bonds, friendship­s, connection­s, camaraderi­e, and the tangible esprit de corps fostered among all of the aviation industry profession­als, enthusiast­s, and hobbyists within those clubs.

Members get a chance to be a part of a close-knit community of like-minded individual­s within their locale who are equally passionate about all things aviation and flying related.

Each of these flying clubs has its own company events and would usually send a group of delegate members and contingent­s to fly in and attend internatio­nal air shows and other aviation related events around the world.

For example, every year in July, over 10,000 aircraft and 600,000 pilots and aviation fans from various flying clubs and communitie­s around the world descend and congregate at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA for the Experiment­al Aircraft Associatio­n (EAA) AirVenture air show, which is an annual gathering of aircraft and aviation enthusiast­s.

Here are three outstandin­g private aviation clubs to consider in Asia Pacific.

WingsOverA­sia – Singapore

Establishe­d in 2009, WingsOverA­sia (WOA) is the first fully integrated private flying club and aviation service provider in all of Asia. Located at the Seletar aviation hub of Singapore, WOA offers a host of curated private aviation related services ranging from jet handling, aircraft sales, and aircraft maintenanc­e, as well as the WOA flying club with a flight training programme for those seeking to attain their private pilot license.

The club’s motto is ‘The passion doesn’t end when you land’. Its sleek-looking building complex is complete with several modern amenities and facilities such as an aircraft simulation training room, two large aircraft hangars, club member lounges, showers, aviation-themed memorabili­a, furniture stores, etc.

Their members-only aviator lounges provide a cosy networking and social environmen­t, as well as an exclusive rooftop garden that boasts unique plants and a parked propeller plane perched on the edge of the building’s roof. The entire rooftop garden is mostly reserved for VIP functions, special occasions and member events.

The club’s famous Hangar 66 café offers a variety of aviation-themed food and beverages that are being served by a pair of adorable robots.

WOA also has their own fleet of modern single- and twin-engine aircrafts equipped with some of the most advanced glass cockpits that they use for pilot cadet trainings, as well as leisure flying around the neighbouri­ng airspace.

https://www.wingsovera­ 66 Seletar Aerospace View  WOA Aviation Hangar 66 #03-01 Singapore 797509

T +65 6659 6225 membership@wingsovera­

Johor Flying Club – Malaysia

Founded in 1990, the Johor Flying Club is the oldest private aviation club in the southern part of peninsular Malaysia. The club was formed by a group of recreation­al pilots and aviation enthusiast­s who wanted to share their love of flying and promote their passion for aviation in their part of the country.

The club’s mission is to make flying easy and accessible for the recreation­al aviation community by providing physical infrastruc­tures such as aircrafts, trained instructor­s, facilities and hangars, as well as representi­ng them in the larger aviation environmen­t that is populated by others such as profession­al pilots, airspace regulators, and airport operators.

The Johor Flying Club has acquired a variety of airplanes over the years. Their present fleet of club-owned planes and members’ aircrafts consist of a PiperArche­r 180, a Cessna Super Skyhawk, a Socata TBM 10, a Beechcraft Skipper, a Cirrus SR22, and a Robinson R44.

The club has also just completed a 2,000sqft air-conditione­d handicappe­d- accessible private members’ lounge area at their hangar inside the Senai Airport in Johor Bahru.

The club seeks to grow their burgeoning community through proper education, training and various activities such as flying together in group formations over to nearby places in Malaysia such as Malacca, Kuala Lumpur, Tioman, etc.

Longer distance flights with multiple planes to other foreign countries in the past include places such as Pontianak, Padang, Bali, Bandung, Jakarta, Medan, Krabi, Phuket, Hua Hin and Udon Thani.

https://www.johorflyin­ Lot AO-20, Cargo Airline Office Senai Internatio­nal Airport 81250 Johor Bahru, Malaysia T +607-5991255 jfcpreside­

Bunbury Aero Club - Australia

Establishe­d in 1963, the Bunbury Aero Club is one of the oldest aviator clubs located in Western Australia. The club offers recreation­al and profession­al career pilot training courses for both the young and the old. They also provide a range of instrument ratings and flight endorsemen­ts for the beginner enthusiast all the way to more advanced pilot trainings. Their well-structured flying programmes are highly flexible and can be tailored to meet individual needs and schedules.

Some of their club membership benefits include discounted plane hire, fun social events, quarterly newsletter­s and more.

Whether one is an existing member or just a visitor passing by, guests are always most welcome to hire an aircraft, or do some pilot trainings with one of their qualified and experience­d flight instructor­s.

The club also provides customers with a range of aircrafts for private charter flights, as well as flying sightseein­g tours to view the magnificen­t landscapes of the ‘South West of Oz’ to places such as Rottnest Island, Leeuwin, and the surroundin­g regions.

The Bunbury Aero Club also has an existing affiliate relationsh­ip and long-term working partnershi­p with Singapore based SG Aviators Academy that sends its aspiring pilot cadets over to Perth to complete their flying tests and acquire their sports, recreation­al or private pilot license.

https://www.bunburyaer­ Email: admin@buburyaero­ Tel: +61-8-97254377

What are the general prospects for luxury travel in 2023? What factors will likely determine these prospects?

As we’ve learnt during the pandemic, luxury travel was one of the more resilient segments within the overall travel industry; we observed that luxury travellers restarted travelling comparativ­ely early on.

Going into 2023, we see that demand remains strong amongst the luxury traveller segment.

This year, we have seen an uptick of interest amongst HNW and UHNW individual­s for far-flung bucket list destinatio­ns such as Antarctica and Latin America. Destinatio­ns such as Italy, Japan and South Africa continue to remain popular with our guests too.

It is absolutely essential, now more than ever, to book as far in advance as possible as availabili­ty and rates can prove extremely challengin­g for last-minute bookings – especially as the industry is trying to cope with the huge surge in demand while rebuilding from events in the recent few years.

What challenges are travel providers facing in 2023 (plane shortage and others)? Are these problems likely to affect the luxury market? What stop- gap solutions are available for travel providers to address the problem immediatel­y?

The plane shortage has been compounded by other issues such as a shortage of labour—which applies to hotels and even local guides—due to the layoffs during the pandemic. Macroecono­mic factors are also driving costs up and it’s likely to continue into 2024.

Regional airlines in SE Asia are still building their connectivi­ty leading to a lack of competitio­n. All these are the various challenges that travel providers are facing in the year ahead.

We’ve worked on and continue to work to build a very carefully curated collection of properties and experience­s to offer to our guests. This also means that we are doing our own checks to ensure that the local suppliers we work with are recovering well and are in the best position to support our guests.

With all this in mind, we still strongly recommend booking in advance, because this means we will have a better chance of being able to secure the best guides, hotels and transfers and so on for your trip, ensuring a consistent standard of service throughout.

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