Aviation Services Management and its founder win awards in Dubai

Aviation Services Management

As the old saying goes, you wait ages for a bus and then two come along at once. For Vito Gomes, the same goes for awards, not that he was waiting.

Earlier this month, the UAE-based aviation veteran won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Aviation Achievement Awards (AAA) ceremony in Dubai. The company he founded, Aviation Services Management, was also awarded the 25 Years of Excellence Award in the Flight Support Services category at the same event.

“I am honoured to receive these awards,” Gomes told CJI. “Although it bears my name, this recognition truly belongs to every member of the ASM team. I would like to thank them for being with me throughout this journey. When we started with a small team of 2-3 members, we had not imagined it would go so far and one day it would be a leading provider of services for major airlines and general aviation industry. What makes me proud and happy is that those people who started with me back then are still part of our journey today. My team is the main reason why we have won these awards.”

Gomes began his journey in Aviation as a trainee with Air Portugal back in the early 1980s. He then joined Abu Dhabi Airport in 1985 and worked in cargo, passenger, and ground handling where he observed that there are some critical service gaps between airlines, operators, and service providers. In 1994, Gomes was tasked with the foundation of an airline from ground up, an experience that further highlighted the existing service voids. This became a catalyst for establishing ASM in 1998, with a vision to fill those gaps.

“I worked on building the airline from scratch,” said Gomes. “There I worked for many years overseeing the beginning of its operations in many countries. Then I realized it’s time that I start something of my own as I could clearly see the needs of the industry and an opportunity to address them.”

In 1998, Gomes launched ASM, initially providing ground handling, flight planning, permits, and concierge services to private jets. Over time, with growing experience and success, ASM expanded its offerings to include comprehensive trip support services, including fuel services, and now serves over 160 airlines worldwide.

A pivotal moment in ASM’s journey was the acquisition of our own fleet of private jets in 2016, granting us invaluable firsthand experience as private jet owners. This experience deepened our understanding of the unique needs of aircraft owners and eventually led us to acquire our own Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from the UAE GCAA. ‘Currently, we operate two aircraft and are actively engaging with other owners to explore the expansion of our fleet under our AOC,’ Gomes noted.

Expansion hasn’t been limited to service lines; Gomes has also pursued his vision for international expansion. “With our head office in Dubai and offices in countries such as India, Kenya and Sri Lanka, we are currently serving our clients worldwide. However, we aim to further increase our geographic presence by establishing a physical presence in all major hubs. Our current target markets include Africa, Saudi Arabia, Southeast Asia, and Central & South America.”

“We are going to be more involved in Saudi Arabia, that is a growing market. The Middle East is definitely a place to be, there is always something or other new coming up — especially with the amount of events we have in the region.”

Despite the challenges presented by both the 2008 financial crash and the COVID-induced pandemic beginning in 2020, Aviation Services Management has continued to perform. “We had difficulties [during COVID] but were able to sustain our business. However, now I would say we are doing much better. We have increased our business by at least 20-25%. That is one of the reasons why we have looked to expand in to other countries.”