smart since 2005

Urgent recovery operation for 120 passengers

Unfortunately, it is no secret that the ACMI sector in our industry is currently quiet. This is due to airlines across the globe with reduced operations. Smart Aviation ACMI division are always ready to assist any of our clients.

Friday late evening, Smart Aviation received an urgent ACMI AOG request from one of our valued clients. Daniel Parker, Head of ACMI & Flight Operations Control was as ready as ever.


The request was to transport 120 passengers finishing their holidays in the Greek Isles and flying them home to Scandinavia. Our ACMI specialist knew the perfect provider for this urgent recovery operation. Daniel located a 180 seat A320 narrow body aircraft via a trusted European provider. Working closely with both parties to ensure everything was set up for the operation, in just two hours following the call, the aircraft was launched from its base and on-route to rescue the operation.

“The industry has changed dramatically over the past 6 months due to COVID-19. A lot of UK and European airlines have sadly been lost in this time, and many trusted aviation colleagues have faced difficult times. I have maintained relationships with key contacts and never lost touch even during these difficult times. I always call to see how everyone is regardless of the situation. Myself and my team work to solve the problem together with our partners. We’ve always worked as an extension to their operations team,” commented Daniel.

Daniel worked closely with the partner to ensure no detail is missed. “Our main priority for any request is the safety of our passengers and to ensure all COVID-19 protocols are adhered to. We acted swiftly in providing a solution so that our client avoided putting the passengers in a hotel overnight. They were transported home as planned,” he said.

How do Smart Aviation respond so quickly to requests?

Smart are on hand 24/7. We understand that travel requests are not just Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm. Our specialist team are ready to assist and provide the best and most feasible solution to any request you have.

Smart Aviation to the rescue for last minute private jet request

Early Friday, Smart’s Head of VIP Charter – James Gregory was contacted by a client who was let down by another option.

Just 60 minutes from receiving the call to agreeing final details our satisfied client had one thing less to worry about for his trip. James found the perfect aircraft that fit the client’s budget and was suitable for their planned schedule of three various locations.

Citation III

Smart Aviation have been established for 15 years and our brokers are specialists in their areas. Managing Director, Mark Hawkins founded the company in 2005 and has grown an experienced team at Smart headquarters. James has over 9 years’ experience in the industry and has reputable relationships and contacts with the best and reliable partners.

“My heart always goes to those clients who say to me that another option has let them down. And sadly, I have heard this far too many times. It’s important to research who you are booking with. At Smart Aviation we have a fantastic relationship with our partners and our clients are always at the heart of what we do. We ensure our client is presented with an honest choice,” said James Gregory.

Our long-standing partners at North Flying went over and beyond as always. The client travelled on the Citation III which provides a luxuriously large cabin, mini bar, comfortable leather seats, tables and more.

With ongoing changes for travel restrictions due to COVID-19, a lot of our current private jet requests are last minute. With our experience we are able to find the right aircraft at the right price. Arranging a last-minute getaway or future travel plans, contact Smart Aviation for a non-obligatory quote today. We have the very best deals available to suit all budgets.

Music tours in the making

The fast-paced world of music charters

Our resident charter broker to the stars, James Gregory, gives us an insight into his experience chartering private jets 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.

Finding the perfect jet

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 private jet 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 – or call +44 (0)1293 551244.

Connect with James on LinkedIn.

Smart Aviation

Smart Aviation