Around the world and back again
Published: 15 Jun 2015
Industry veteran Jeffrey Lowe helps aircraft owners get the most for their money as managing director of Asian Sky Group in Hong Kong, but his experience also includes time spent in engineering, interiors, sales and more.
Where has work taken you?
I’m from Toronto, Canada, and have been living in Hong Kong for 18 years now. This is by far the longest I’ve stayed in one place. Along the way I’ve also lived in Montreal, Seattle and England.
What was your first job in aviation?
I’ve always worked in aviation. My first summer job was working for Innotech Aviation in Montreal in its upholstery shop refurbishing the interiors of aircraft – a McDonnell Douglas DC-8 for the Royal Canadian Air Force and some Canadair CL-215 water bombers. My first full-time job after graduating was working for the de Havilland Aircraft Company of Canada in Toronto in ground test engineering. I worked on the Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 major fatigue test.
Buyouts pulled you all over?
I always thought I should work in engineering for at least as long as it took me to get my degree – so four years. It didn’t work out that way. After a couple of years I moved into sales engineering. At this time de Havilland was purchased by Boeing and became Boeing Canada. I eventually used this opportunity to move to Seattle and worked in airline analysis and product development for Boeing Commercial Aircraft in Renton. Then it was back to Canada, Montreal, and the start of the Canadair Regional Jet programme.
After 10-plus years of job changes and moves, I ended up right back where I started upon graduation – de Havilland in Toronto, now the new home of Bombardier’s Regional Aircraft division. There I was now responsible for Dash 8 and CRJ sales in central Europe, the Middle East and southern Africa. It was Bombardier that first brought me to Hong Kong. This led to becoming vice-president for Gulfstream in Asia, director of sales and marketing for Business Aviation Asia – the largest privately-owned aircraft management company at the time – and my current position of managing director for Asian Sky Group.
What services does Asian Sky Group offer?
ASG is a consulting company – ultimately we are educators. We try to provide valued information to our clients so they can make better-informed decisions. Our services cover the whole gamut of one’s potential ownership experience with a business jet – so starting from the day you think about owning a business jet to the day you replace it with something else, and everything in between. So selection, choosing an operator, where to base and register, financing, oversight, just to name a few. We just launched our year-end 2014 Civil Helicopter Fleet Report.
How do you set yourself apart from competitors?
Experience – I don’t think there is another company in Asia that can call on the experience we have. Resources – we have two financially strong and committed shareholders ensuring we will be around for the long term. Service – we are a full-service provider and have made the investment necessary to put in place a comprehensive back office to support all our endeavours. There are a lot of ‘mom and pop’ shops springing up in Asia. We aren’t one of them.
How do you find clients?
Most of our clients are referred to us. We have long-standing relationships in the industry in Asia with OEMs, operators, private banks, commercial lenders, leasing companies and our own client database.
What’s the most difficult part of your job?
Finding the time to do everything we’d like to. We are blessed with unending opportunities. As a relatively new company you’d like to seize every opportunity that comes your way, but inevitably you need to pick and choose. I hate saying “no”, though.
Is there anything about the job you don’t enjoy?
As managing director, the human resource function is also a responsibility. It’s not one I relish.