Music tours in the making

Our resident charter broker to the stars, James Gregory, gives us an insight into his experience chartering aircraft for music tours.

“One of my first charter requests was a 17-sector music tour across the United States for a multi-award-winning band. It fixed and flew within a few days and I was instantly drawn into the fast paced world of music charters. Since then I have worked with bands, DJs, Hollywood stars and everything in-between; I’ve never looked back.

Over this time I have learnt very quickly just what it takes to manage tours with a high intensity of flying. From just a simple email with show dates I can build a full flight itinerary – I’ll work out all the details, including nearest airport to the venue, approvals for extending airport hours (for out-of-hours departures and arrivals), driving times from hotel to airport to venue – and I’ll make sure there is no stone left unturned so every detail is attended to.

I also understand the importance of communication. If you have to ask me ‘James, is everything ready?’ then I have failed. Five hours before departure, I’ll check the weather report and inform you of any turbulence to be expected or avoided. I’ll let you know when the flight crew are at the aircraft preparing for the flight and when they are fully ready for the arrival of the passengers. If you aren’t travelling with the party, then I’ll inform you when passengers are boarding and, of course, the exact flight departure and arrival times.

Aircraft selection is the single most important factor; aircraft suitability can make or break a tour and an unhappy artist is not good for anyone. I take time to understand a client’s needs and ultimately offer the best aircraft for their requirements. Over the course of my career I’ve got to know the aircraft and operators most suited to music tours. Of course, not all private jets are configured in the same way and getting on-board the actual aircraft gives me the knowledge to be able to confidently advise clients of the best charter options on the market.

My job is to take as much pressure off tour managers as possible, so everyone can focus on the shows and I will do everything possible to make this happen – I understand that there is no room for error. Our operational support team is on-hand 24/7/365, to deal with anything unexpected and keep you flying – for total peace of mind.”

Contact James directly – james.gregory@smart-aviation.co.uk or call +44 (0)1293 551244.