Private Charter flights are highly recommended for sports team travel, providing a safer and more flexible travel option.
Despite the tough year for the Aviation industry – Smart Aviation has been seeing an increase in charter flights in March. Thanks to international football matches still being allowed to continue. This is, of course, without fans but nevertheless Smart has been involved in moving international football teams to their World Cup qualifiers matches and some international friendlies. March has been our busiest month so far this year with over 19 charters for domestic UK football teams and football teams around Europe, which is proof that the industry is picking up and confidence is growing in air travel once again.
Clive Head, our specialist sports broker has over 30 years experience in the industry and has been working hard with some international federations and teams as well as our trusted suppliers to ensure everything is organised to ensure smooth transfers of players and kit to their final destination in a safe manner.
At Smart we don’t just charter for football. We are incredibly proud that over the last quarter we have been involved in moving sports men and women to Ice Hockey, Handball and Basketball games. We have also been working hard with the organisers of the high profile Boxing match in Gibraltar this weekend. Brief’s such as these, especially in these current times take a lot of planning and we have worked closely with Inflite private terminal in Stansted and other authorities to ensure the passengers all have the correct paperwork in order to be allowed to travel and to ensure their journey is seamless from the point of departure to their arrival in Gibraltar.
As always, the Smart operations team were on hand 24/7 updating our clients with flight progress using industry leading systems.
Why choose Smart?
– You’re dealing with the experts. Our goal is excellence in service and execution – our extensive knowledge and expertise ensure we deliver.
– Our unrivalled operator relationships ensure you get the most cost-effective solution, without compromising on quality.
– Our operational support team is on-hand 24/7, 365 days a year, to deal with the unexpected and keep you flying – for total peace of mind.
James Gregory, from our full charter team, has 8 years worth of aviation knowledge specialising in private jet charter.
After kick starting his career with a major charter broker, James talks about how working for Smart makes him no less knowledgeable as a broker.
What does a typical day look like for you?
To begin my day, I like to update myself on world events and aviation news. Aviation changes overnight so I ensure I am up to speed to react accordingly. I deal with new enquiries personally by responding and keep clients / suppliers up to date with their requests from the very beginning. I believe in keeping an open and honest relationship with clients. Using industry leading flight watching software I monitor live flights and share these updates. Its important to maintain an ongoing relationship with both clients and suppliers, so I ensure regular contact is made either by email, phone or even a face to face catch up.
What do you love about working in Aviation?
No two days are the same when working in aviation. One minute I could be working on my daily tasks and the next assisting on a last-minute request. I enjoy the variation in this field. I get to speak to and visit people in various time zones, cultures and nationalities. My most enjoyable trip has been visiting clients and operators in LA but equally I got to visit this phenomenal destination. My interest for aviation goes back to seeing my grandad selling aircraft spares out of the Beehive at London Gatwick Airport.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
There can be instant diversions in aviation. It could be caused by natural disaster, technical issues, unexpected disruption, slot delays or even lack of parking slots at top destinations in Europe. Each situation has its own protocol which again reiterates the importance of an open and honest relationship with all clients and suppliers.
What one item do you rely on most to do your job?
I have worked in aviation for 8 years and my knowledge of this industry is something I will always be able to rely on. I am always available for my clients and suppliers 24/7. Smart Aviation may be smaller than our competitors but no less knowledgeable. The trust we build with our clients to provide a specialist service guarantees repeat business.
What do you do when you are not working?
In my spare time I enjoy socialising with friends and catching up on sporting activities. There’s often a competitive atmosphere in the office as we all support different football teams. My holidays are generally pretty active too. I enjoy skiing and water sports.
Where would you be working if you hadn’t chosen aviation?
I most definitely would have been doing something related to cars. I’m a big petrol head and love all things cars. I’m an extremely active person and like to keep busy. To teach others an energetic sport like skiing would be extremely rewarding.