smart since 2005

Founder Mark Hawkins looks back at 16 years of Smart.

Smart Aviation turns 16 this week. We sat down with Smart’s Founder and Managing Director Mark Hawkins to take a look back at the highlights and challenges of the last 16 years.

Why did you decide to set up Smart Aviation?

I have been working in the aviation industry for the last 28 years, starting out at Air 2000 in 1993. At Excel Airways/Aviation I was pivotal in their sports charter’s operation and during the Champions League final in 2005, I chartered over 30 aircraft for Liverpool fans to attend the final. After three years, I decided that it was time to branch out on my own. My goal was to become one of the world’s leading charter providers and over the last 16 years, I am proud to say we have achieved that.

What been the key to Smart’s success?

Our initial success was down to our immense sports charter operation; sport has always been at the core of what we do. We had overnight success with that part of the business and have overseen thousands of flights to key fixtures and tournaments. ACMI still continues to part key to our business and lots of large airlines come to us with their AOG issues long and short term.

What’s been the most challenging part of the last 16-years?

I would have to say Covid has been the most challenging obstacle we have faced as a business. The different, constantly changing travel restrictions was the most challenging part but I’m pleased to say are continuing to navigate our way through the changes and feel confident that travel is finally returning and will continue to do so (fingers crossed).

What do you think has been Smart’s biggest achievement?

Building such a phenomenal and dedicated team is something I am immensely proud of. They have grown the business alongside me.  Chartering aircraft for some of the biggest sports names in the market and arranging a huge number of replacement aircraft during the Iceland ash cloud eruption in 2011, are also right up there.

What do you think has been the biggest change in the industry since Smart started?

The lack of charter airlines willing to operate during their peak season means adhoc flights have got less and less every year. We do work with several quality airlines who support us year-round, ensuring we can service our all-important clients.

How important is company culture to you and what measures do you take to maintain it?

Very important. Every new member of the team goes through induction training to ensure they deliver the highest level of communication and respect to all our partners. Every client must receive the ‘Smart Service’.

What are your long-term goals for Smart?

To continue to be right at the top of our game, grow the team and continue to be Smart.

Travel safe, travel smart

Travel safely with Smart Aviation.

Ongoing travel restrictions are changing daily. Scheduled airlines are having to cancel or postpone flights due to the COVID 19 pandemic. At Smart Aviation, safe travelling options for our clients is our priority. Here is the difference between flying with a commercial airline in comparison to a private jet.

Private jet travel is an appealing travel option and proving to be a safer option during COVID 19. The image below shows the difference of the limited amount of contact you can expect on a private jet. This is compared from the terminal to the aircraft and final destination when travelling commercially.

Travelling by commercial airline opens you to up to 977 total interactions. When compared to private jet travel there are up to 8 total interactions.

Travelling by private jet gives you full control of your travel arrangements. You can chose the most suitable airport to depart from or arrive into. Timings can also be arranged according to your schedule.

Contact us today for a non-obligation quote.

 

Travel safe infographic

 

London Airports by Private Jet

London Airports by Private Jet

The best airports for your flight into or out of London

One of the many benefits of private jet charter is the variety of the departure and arrival airports available to you; flying by private jet opens up a world of better air travel options.

When flying out of or into London by private jet, there are many airports available to you. As European aircraft charter specialists, we are able to advise on the most suitable departure and arrival airport for your journey based on your requirements. We can also assist with your onward travel, by car or heli-shuttle.

Explore the airports available to you when flying out of or into London by private jet;

London City Airport’s Private Jet Centre is the only private jet centre situated within London itself and is just 3 miles from Canary Wharf and 5 miles from the City.

London Biggin Hill Airport is just 12 miles from Canary Wharf and 15 miles from Central London, providing quick and convenient access to London – just 6 minutes away by helicopter shuttle.

TAG Farnborough Airport is a dedicated business aviation hub, providing easy access to major road links. The Capital is also reachable by a 30 minute train journey or a 12 minute helicopter service to Battersea.

London Luton Airport is London’s fourth-largest airport and located 35 miles north of the city centre, providing easy access to the rest of the UK.

London Stansted Airport is located just 35 miles from Central London, 34 miles to Canary Wharf and 37 miles to the West End, with fast and convenient road and rail links to the whole of the UK.

London Oxford Airport is the Thames Valley area’s primary regional and business aviation airport – the only commercial airport between London Heathrow (LHR) and Birmingham (BHX).

You’re always assured of these benefits wherever you fly from:

  • Dedicated private terminal.
  • Short distances from the terminal to the private jet.
  • Secure and efficient security screening.
  • On-site immigration and border control.

To discuss your next private jet charter, please contact us.

Smart Aviation

Smart Aviation