Opportunities to Fly Higher
Seizing the opportunity of air travel in Bali, Marina Trudy and her partner established Fly Bali, an aviation company focusing on helicopter tours and aircraft management. She shares the soaring stories with Asia Dreams.
Q: How did you first get the idea to create Fly Bali?
A: Before I established Fly Bali, I was working for another helicopter company in Bali. From my experience there, I could see that Bali had promising potential for air travel and tourism. However, due to the lack of helicopter service operators in Bali, I saw a lot of unfulfilled demand. That’s why my partner and I decided to create Fly Bali, with the aim of having more helicopters on standby in Bali to meet the demand.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve come across in running Fly Bali?
A: We needed to convince operators that Bali has good potential for the air travel business so we could bring more helicopters in. We decided to open Fly Bali Heliport, so that more helicopters could park here and be available 24 hours for anyone in Bali who needs the service. The biggest challenge, however, was to complete all the requirements needed to open a heliport, including a regional permit. We had to convince the local community that a heliport would not only be beneficial for air travel but would also have a positive impact on Bali’s tourist industry. We are also committed to helping humanitarian missions and emergency needs, such as medical evacuations and search and rescue.
What has been the most memorable moment running the business?
A: During the first year, when we had just started Fly Bali, our team only consisted of five people: the pilot, who is also the director, me as the salesperson, two helicopter landing officers and one engineer. The pilot/director also had to be the driver who picked up and dropped off the guests, I had to be the guests’ liaison, and the rest of the team were also responsible for the helicopter maintenance. These were memorable times, because we can look back and see how far we’ve come. Now our team has expanded a few times over.
What’s the secret in balancing business and family?
A: I built Fly Bali with my partner, and eventually the business has become a part of the family. I have three children, and I always tell them honestly about the business, including the perks and pitfalls of building your own business, the struggles and the success, and more. This way everyone in the family can support one another.
What do you think of the helicopter industry in Bali so far?
A: Fly Bali at the moment has four helicopters and one executive private plane, so I think it’s going great. Before the pandemic, we had seen a great number of international tourists who were interested in air travel, but we are grateful to see more and more domestic travellers showing an interest these days.
What are your expectations for the future of Fly Bali?
A: I hope Fly Bali can produce more competent aviation professionals in the future, as well as playing a part in putting Indonesia on the world aviation map. We hope to be part of the growth of Indonesia’s aviation industry.
What is the key to running a successful business?
A: A problem-solving drive. We like to look for problems just so that we can find the solutions. I think that in every problem, there’s an opportunity that lies beneath, so we have to focus on