Get to know: 30 May 2017Mark HawkinsMark Hawkins founded Smart Aviation in 2005 having spent the previous 10 years in senior operational roles within the travel and aviation industry, including Excel Airways and First Choice Holidays.As part of his role at Excel Airways, Mark was involved in sports charters for supporter travel. “I arranged charters for Liverpool fans in 2005 and flew 4,000 fans to Turkey for a football final” says Mark. “After that I thought – wow – if I could do that working for a company, then what would it be like doing it on my own? That’s when I decided to go it alone – and Smart Aviation was born in October 2005.Mark takes a hands-on approach to running the business and still works closely with long-standing clients.“The buzz of fixing a flight for a regular loyal client is what keep me driven” says Mark “I’m still very active in the sales for the company and have clients who have been with me since the very beginning – which I take as a huge compliment. With it comes the responsibility to keep it that way.”“I believe our clients stay loyal to Smart Aviation because of our truly personal service and the fact we are available 24-7. Our vision is to be flexible and to exceed our customers’ expectations.”Over the past 12 years, Mark has dedicated much of his time to his sports clients and has overseen thousands of charters to high profile fixtures and tournaments, including the Six Nations and Europa League. “There are many charter flights that stand out” says Mark, “but a particularly memorable one was flying the Munster Rugby team back to Shannon from Cardiff after they’d won the Heineken Cup – I was on-board the A330 with them and the celebrations were in full swing!”Contact us for more details on our charters for sports teams and supporters.