Not many luxury transportation services can claim a royal prince as its first client. Most start out handling airport runs for regular travelers, either as single-car operators or affiliates.
For Avantage Limousine Services (ALS) in Paris, France, a royal client set the course of their business for the next 20+ years. The company was founded in 1998 by CEO Chadi M. Arslanian with one Mercedes-Benz S Class sedan. “He was really passionate about luxury cars,” recalls Alain Franco, marketing and communication manager of ALS.
Arslanian started with the royal client from a Middle Eastern family. “A friendship started between both men, so every time that the prince traveled to Paris, Chadi was at the ready to take care of this friend,” Franco says.
The appeal of luxury vehicles and high-end clients drove Arslanian to grow his service, and now ALS is a premium Paris chauffeured luxury service with 52 fleet vehicles that has evolved into a globally connected operation. In addition to royal families, the service regularly handles A-list celebrities and stars, executives of multinational companies, and clients considered “sensitive.”
“We can follow our clients all around the world with the same high-end services,” he says. “In less than 72 hours, we can operate a mission in France or Switzerland with 150 vehicles.”
The fleet consists of Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedans, which are the standard service, and the V and S Classes, the Maybach, and Range Rover. It keeps its models a maximum of two years before rotating them out for newer ones.
Franco explains the company is not just an affiliate network, but a service with vetted partnerships with high-end luxury chauffeured services worldwide.
“We can’t just send clients to an affiliate,” he said. “We have a network of good and real partnerships. When royal families travel around the world, they can tour different countries and cities and ask us to be with them and organize their transportation.”
ALS also brings its high-touch experience to corporations, banks, roadshows, and other special events. It relies on a staff of 42 salaried chauffeurs who are thoroughly trained.
In addition to their extensive basic training, chauffeurs regularly undergo upgraded training to be aware of new developments in transporting high-end clients. Franco stresses employing chauffeurs significantly improves service quality and distinguishes the company in the market.
“We have very high standards for hiring chauffeurs,” Franco said. “It’s hard to select them. You must have more than seven years of experience. Their backgrounds are very important to us. That’s the only added value we have. The game is not to have 50 or 100 cars. Here in Paris, it’s the human factor. Chauffeurs are very important to us.”
ILCT Show Supplies New Links
One other market where Avantage Limousine Services has seen more success is in handling ground transportation for major world special events.
He credits the 2019 International LCT Show for helping ALS connect with another chauffeured transportation provider in Brazil, which became a partner of ALS Paris.
During the Copa America 2019, an annual South American men’s soccer competition, ALS Paris handled transportation in Rio De Janeiro and in São Paulo.
For more than 20 days, the company chauffeured 70 VIPs in more than 25 luxury vehicles, including the Mercedes Benz S, V, and E classes. The chauffeurs coordinated with 20 security staff members during this special event, which was managed from the company’s office in Paris.
“All this operation was possible thanks to the LCT Show where we met Chauffeur Services (CS) Brazil,” Franco said. “One of my goals at the LCT show was to make connections with American companies who became our clients and vice versa.”
This year, ALS is looking to find more affiliates on the West Coast during the Show on Feb. 16-19 at The Venetian in Las Vegas, Franco said.
Branded Global Events
Avantage Limousine Services handles other event fleet movements as well:
- Women's World Cup 2019 (France): Covered the transportation needs of Fox Sports VIP teams during the Women's World Cup with 25 vehicles for more than a month and a half.
- Paris Fashion Week(s): Operates for the biggest luxury fashion houses such as Chanel, Dior, YSL.
- 2022 World Cup Qatar: ALS is finalizing two partnerships to operate in Qatar during the global football (soccer) event.
In summing up the company’s customer service approach, whether for global VIPs or large groups, Franco says, “The well-being of the client is at the center of our interests. All of our standards are established according to the clients’ wishes and desires. This is how we think. Everything is centered on anticipating our guests’ journeys with ALS.”
Originally posted on LCT Magazine