The world’s largest Catholic pilgrimage to Lourdes begins this month and Smart Aviation’s comprehensive charter service will be transporting over 43,500 passengers on more than 150 flights to the universal place of meeting, prayer and celebration of life.
Since 1858 when the Marian apparitions of Our Lady of Lourdes appeared to Bernadette Soubirous, over six million worshippers per year travel to the foothills of the Pyrenees, a place that offers hope and consolation to those in need of healing and peace.
For the last 15 years, Smart Aviation has been running a substantial charter operation to the Holy French town from February to October, with departures from Dublin, Shannon and Cork in Ireland, as well as charters from regional UK airports including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leeds and Southampton.
Smart Aviation offers a truly personalised service and is highly experienced in handling the most delicate of requests for clients on the pilgrimage including arranging wheelchair access, meal requirements and dedicated handling agents.
Smart Aviation transports pilgrims to join the most extensive programmes led by Spiritual Directors and coordinated locally with highly skilled teams. With over 22 places of worship to visit, including the miraculous spring in the Grotto that is famous for its healing waters, travellers can choose between short breaks or weeklong pilgrimages. With a huge demand, travellers are advised to book well in advance.
Smart Aviation Managing Director Mark Hawkins said:
“Every year we look forward to the beginning of our charter service to Lourdes, the most visited pilgrimage site in the Christian world. We understand just how important this annual pilgrimage is to these clients and our meticulous attention to detail ensures all passengers arrive relaxed and ready to start their spiritual journey. I also personally join a pilgrimage charter annually to interact with the passengers and ensure the high-standards we have set within the industry continue to be upheld”.
Get the party started with a dedicated aircraft charter flight for your team.
Smart Aviation fly corporate groups and top level sports clubs to their end of year Christmas celebrations on dedicated charter flights.
On your own private aircraft you can get the party started (and the champagne flowing) from the moment you board. This is a perfect way to ensure your group have the best possible experience before they’ve even reached their destination.
Our most popular December destinations this year include Amsterdam and Dublin – both less than 2 hours flight time from London. For destinations closer to home, why not consider a VIP helicopter charter?
The benefits of private charter.
There are many benefits to travelling on your own aircraft.
You can buy time; travel to your exact schedule
You dictate when the plane departs and where from
Luxurious cabins that far exceed those offered by commercial airlines
Bespoke menus and refreshments
Chartering opens up a whole other world of smaller airports to fly to, getting you nearer your chosen destination.
Most private charters fly from private terminals so no waiting
No long airport queues or security hold ups
No baggage limits
We have a wide choice of aircraft available for group travel; from a turboprop aircraft like a Fokker 50 to a regional jet like the Embraer 135 or 145.
For those seeking the ultimate way to travel, we’ve VIP configured airliners that will seat up to 50 passengers in complete comfort.
Contact us to check aircraft availability for December and a no-obligation quote.
Tel: +44(0)1293 551244
The Six Nations tournament begins tonight, starting with France v Wales in Paris, and Smart Aviation are celebrating another record year for charters; we have 38 flights planned during the 2019 tournament, and we are carrying over 6000 supporters meaning once again we have earned our reputation as the leading arranger of charter flights for rugby.
Since the company was founded in 2005, Smart have earned a reputation for going over and beyond to accommodate the needs of their loyal rugby clients who will be travelling on our numerous charters this year.
As part of that service, Smart will have representatives in Paris, Rome and Dublin to ensure everything goes without a hitch – watch out for updates on our social media as we report on the challenge of organising multiple charters for thousands of fans.
Mark Hawkins, Managing Director of Smart Aviation commented “with over ten years of experience chartering rugby supporters to the six nations we are pleased to have grown our passenger numbers to over 6000 for this tournament, meaning 2019 is a record-breaking year. We work with some of the largest specialist sports tour operators, and we are looking forward to another successful operation. The flights create a large volume of workload for Smart and I am delighted that we have an experienced team who can ensure that we never compromise on service in order to look after our clients”
Hundreds of flights have either been cancelled or diverted following disruption at London Gatwick Airport (LGW) 19th and 20th December 2018.
It’s the last weekend before Christmas and passengers will be travelling to spend time with loved ones.
Gatwick Airport (LGW) have reported sightings of two drones flying over the airport, causing this major disruption.
Smart Aviation, European charter specialists, provide a bespoke charter service. Travelling with Smart means we can provide a unique service for you. We can:
React to emergency situations,
We maintain a list of flights and airports available so we can get you to your destination as planned,
No stress of unexpected delays.
Director of Smart Aviation, Mark Hawkins commented; ‘Disruption before Christmas has put a major strain on airlines, airports and passengers. Smart are here to help provide you with an alternative travel arrangement if needed.’
It’s another one of those weekends, as Football leagues around the world take a break for international fixtures, but for Smart Aviation – it’s definitely not a break.
International Squads need to travel for away football fixtures. This weekend it’s a combination of fixtures in the Nations League as well as an opportunity for Countries to play international friendlies.
As always, Smart are at the centre of the action.
Across the weekend from 16-19 November, Smart will be flying five separate international squads across Europe to reach their away fixtures. Smart have been a leader in sports travel since we started in 2005.
Our most experienced broker, Clive Head has been busy using his years of experience to ensure everything goes without a hitch for our 5 international clients.
This weekend you’ll find Clive at Stansted Airport where he will be overseeing the loading of almost four tonnes of sporting equipment plus of course our VIP Sports team onto their private charter flight from the Inflite VIP terminal.
Clive will personally travel on the aircraft to ensure everything runs smoothly when we reach our destination.
Before that Clive is busy checking to ensure the two teams flying today have everything prepared, the aircraft are ready and waiting, and every last detail has been taken care of.
It’s all in a day’s work, but we never forget how important the planning of these flights are, and we pride ourselves in our years of experience and our operational knowledge, to ensure our five international teams arrive on time, fresh and prepared for their next fixture.
And as for Clive, he will be looking forward to his own well-earned break, when this ‘break’ is over.
We can source aircraft perfectly suited to your club’s air charter requirements.
We are now assisting our European football club clients with dedicated charter flights for their pre-season travel across Europe and beyond.
Our experience in providing aircraft charters for a variety of sports clubs including athletics, rugby, ice-hockey and for some of the biggest football clubs in Europe means that we are able to expertly tailor every flight to the specific needs of the team. And as European charter specialists, we have access to jet of all sizes – from large VIP configured commercial jets with fully reclining seats, to regional jets for efficient short-haul team travel.
Our experienced team of charter specialists will make sure that every detail is attended to – that includes access to medical facilities, special dietary requirements, airport assistance, equipment/kit transfers or anything else required for the comfort and convenience of the team.
We can provide a private charter aircraft to fly to any destination worldwide. Our most popular destinations for pre-season training breaks include Spain, Portugal, Canary Islands, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.