smart since 2005

Getting you closer to where you need to be – worldwide

Smart Aviation recently received a challenging brief for some complex charters in the USA. We knew the perfect person to handle it. Step forward Smart Aviation Managing Director Mark Hawkins.

Mark founded the company in 2005 and takes pride in the industry knowledge and expertise he has gained during his career. Each request gets unique treatment at Smart Aviation. This operation was a challenge – we had an itinerary that wouldn’t work on schedule airlines. Our client was a major European corporation who wanted to take 100 of its team across the USA over several days.

Mark Hawkins Managing Director

The arrangements took a few months of preparation here in the UK. One key aspect of the schedule was to be able to try and secure an arrival at Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico. We worked together with our partners for this trip, US based Carrier Swift Air. This partnership meant we could arrange with the US military to allow our passengers to land. This mean our clients were much closer to their final destination.

The charter started in Chicago. First stop on the itinerary was Twin Falls Idaho, before continuing on to New Mexico. After their site visits were complete, it was back to Chicago, where our clients connected with their scheduled flights back to Europe.

All preparations were made from our office in the UK. Although we are UK based, our reach is global and our duty of care didn’t end as soon as the first flight took off. Our operations team were on hand 24/7. We use industry leading systems to watch the progress of all our charters. Swift Air took excellent care of our clients and the client has given us great feedback.

“The benefits of having a close-knit team means channels of communication aren’t restricted. My team help and support one another and so all operations are handled proactively. I was working on this project around the clock for a few months, due to the time zone differences. This is an example of the Smart flexibility we provide,” said Mark Hawkins.

With over 200 years’ team experience in aviation, we have the knowledge and contacts to solve even the most challenging requests. This means not only do we get you the right aircraft, but also, to the right location.

Next time let Smart take you to where you really need to go.

Ibiza 2019 with Music Specialist Broker James Gregory

The European party season comes to an end this weekend for Ibiza 2019 and what a jet set summer it has been for Smart private jet charters.

Smart Aviation private jet requests have been record breaking this year. We transported DJ’s, celebrities and party goers to the Balearic Island of Ibiza.

Citation XLS

Our most popular private jet for this route has been the Citation XLS. This mid-sized jet provides a stunning interior with a full washroom facility, gallery area and generous luggage capacity.

At Smart we go the extra mile for all of our clients. James Gregory has personally arranged and where possible represented at the UK private terminals. Existing and new clients have been pleased with the smart service. James has helped assist a number of special occasions this summer, including some ‘big’ birthdays and anniversaries.

“Ibiza is our most-chartered-to summer destination. I ensure my clients are taken care of, and offer them a smart service. If there are any additional requirements, I am happy to assist with these too. Our most popular request is a spread of sandwiches and chilled champagne, however if the client wants sushi we can make this happen too.” said James.

Following the great success of Ibiza 2019, Smart are thoroughly looking forward to Ibiza 2020, Meanwhile, James is going to have a quick lie down.

Ibiza 2019 with music specialist broker James Gregory

 

Time is of the essence for International footballer

One of our international football team clients was playing a Euro 2020 qualifier last week, but one of their star players was imminently awaiting the birth of his baby. With his wife’s due date fast approaching, the father-to-be needed to be back home straight after the match.

Private jet Citation CJ2

Our client asked us to locate a jet that could transport the footballer as soon as the match was over, as there were no options for him to fly home on a scheduled flight at that time of night.

Smart Aviation had a few hours to find a solution and located a Citation CJ2 operated by our friends in Germany, Excellent Air. Within an hour, everything was in place.

As planned, following the match our footballer left his team mates and headed straight for the local airport. He was whisked through the Signature private terminal, and we flew him straight home to be with his family.

Sales Director Matthew Savage ensured no detail was missed.

“At Smart, we’re used to last minute requests. We always love the challenge of being against the clock, and this operation was very rewarding knowing we were able to reunite our footballer with his family immediately after his international duty. We’re delighted it all went to plan,” he commented.

Smart wish the young family all the very best.

If your plans change at the last minute, you need to work with a broker who can be flexible to accommodate your needs.

Contact us 24/7 to discuss how we can help.

 

Private Jet Charter Destinations for Autumn Getaways

Private Jet Charter Destinations, ideal for Autumn Getaways

With the crowds of the peak summer period subsiding, it makes sense to holiday in Europe in September and October. The climate is still favourable throughout most of southern Europe, so it’s a great time to take advantage of the blue skies and warm waters of the Mediterranean.

Reach any of these destinations by private jet charter for the ultimate last-minute Autumn Getaway.

Cote D’Azur, France

The French Riviera is popular with our private jet charter clients throughout the summer months and remains so in September. There are many options for flying into the area; our clients find Nice the most convenient for onward travel to the rest of the region, including Monaco and Antibes.

French Riviera

Fly from London to Nice (NCE) on a return private jet charter starting from €2,225 per person.
Price based on 6 passengers travelling on a Citation CJ2.
Onward travel by helicopter charter available on request.

Tuscany, Italy

September is considered by many to be one of the most pleasant months of the year to be in Tuscany. The vineyards of the area’s rolling green hills are harvesting grapes and it’s a popular time to travel to the region for weddings and festivals.

Tuscany

Fly from London to Pisa (PSA) on a return private jet charter starting from €2,100 per person.
Price based on 6 passengers travelling on a Citation CJ2.

Sicily

Italy’s enchanting island benefits from the warm winds which blow from Africa, so the largest island in the Mediterranean is often hot well into the autumn months. Explore the island’s rich history, dramatic landscape (dominated by Mount Etna) and stunning beaches.

Sicily

Fly from London to Palmero (PMO) on a return private jet charter starting from €3,700 per person.
Price based on 7 passengers travelling on a Citation II.

Puglia, Italy

Italy’s ‘heel’ is renowned for its stunning beaches, architecture and some of the best Italian food on offer – all the more enjoyable under the warm Apulian sun in late summer. The temperate waters of the Ionian and Adriatic Seas are best enjoyed on a boat charter to take in the region’s beautiful coastline.

Puglia

 

Fly from London to Lecce Airport (LCC) on a return private jet charter starting from €2,800 per person.
Price based on 6 passengers travelling on a Citation CJ2.

Marrakech, Morocco

OK, it’s not Europe. But September is the perfect time for an unforgettable trip to Morocco. Soak up the romance of Marrakech in autumn, with warm, dry days and cooler nights – ideal for exploring all the city has to offer.

Marrakech

Fly from London to Rabat Airport (Morocco) on a return private jet charter starting from €3,000 per person.
Price based on 7 passengers travelling on a Hawker 400XP.

For villa accommodation in The French Riviera, Tuscany, Sicily, Puglia and Marrakech, visit www.qualityvillas.com

*All prices and options are subject to availability

Private Jets and last minute schedule changes

Last minute change? No problem

We asked Sales Director Matthew Savage to share one benefit of travelling privately.

One of the main benefits of flying privately is the ability to set, and then amend your schedule if needed. Something much harder to do when flying scheduled.

“One of our regular clients had booked a charter with us to return from France to the UK. However, due to a last-minute change of plan he requested if it would be possible to bring the flight forward, so he could be in London by the evening. You’d imagine this would be a logistical challenge, but thanks to our great working relationship with our friends at the Operator, with whom we had the original flight booked, we were quickly able to reschedule his itinerary. We also reconfirmed back all the flight details within 30 minutes of the original request. This enabled him to rearrange his day and ensured he met his last-minute appointment back in London,” said Matthew.

 

If your plans change, you should be working with a company that can change with you. Smart are here 24 hours a day to assist with your private travel itineraries worldwide.

Smart to the rescue for A list celebrity

Charter request to get A list Hollywood celebrity to red carpet event on time.

Smart received the initial request at 11.00 on Friday 14th June, to take our A list celebrity client to her destination in time for her red-carpet event that same evening. The well-known Hollywood celebrity was due to be attending a high-end event with royalty and many other celebrity friends. Less than 3 hours after the first phone call, our VIP guests were airborne and on their way to the French Riviera.

Citation XL

Sales Director, Matthew Savage managed this request from start to finish.

‘I understood the criteria for this booking instantly. It was highly urgent and we needed to act fast. Our operations team are continuously monitoring and tracking global aircraft and I had just the solution for my client ready and waiting,’ said Matthew.

Once all the formalities were taken care of, Matthew represented Smart Aviation at the private airport terminal to guarantee the client was taken care of. All requests were arranged by our representative, Matthew, at the private terminal and the jet took off on time enabling our client to arrive at her star-studded event.

Matthew Savage has over 30 years’ experience in aviation and still enjoys the buzz of a last-minute challenge.

Our experienced Account Managers are available 24/7 and treat each request uniquely, providing the best bespoke solution.

Contact us with your next charter request.

Email: sales@smart-aviation.co.uk

Call: +44(0)1293 551244

60 seconds with Charter Broker James Gregory

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.

James Gregory Charter 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.

Contact James with your private jet request on: sales@smart-aviation.co.uk or call: +44(0)1293 551244

Connect with James Gregory on LinkedIn

Smart charter supporters to all the big sporting occasions

Smart Aviation, industry experts in sports charters, are pleased once again, to be chartering thousands of football and rugby fans.

Months of preparation are coming to a climax, as we reach the long-awaited European finals of both the major football competitions, as well as the finale of the European club rugby season, all taking place in the next few weeks.

Picture credit: UEFA champions league football

Smart Aviation have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure all logistics have been arranged for our sports travel clients to deliver the very best tour packages to customers. Thanks to our experience in the market we are able to secure aircraft at a time of huge demand, with our trusted suppliers once again enabling us to offer the very best solutions to our clients.

Smart Aviation, established 2005, have almost 200 years’ experience in the aviation industry.  Every challenge is accepted and no task is overlooked.  Smart will not compromise on the quality of the service provided and always ensure we provide the most cost-effective and innovative solutions. We can proudly say that our clients safely rely on us year on year as we take care of their needs and ensure they don’t miss the most eagerly awaited sports fixtures.

Here is what May and June will look like for Smart Aviation as we look to be flying several thousand passengers to the biggest sporting events on the calendar.

Leinster vs Saracens – Rugby Champions Cup final
On the 11th May, Smart will be chartering over 1,000 Leinster fans from Ireland to Newcastle on day return charters to the Champions cup final which will kick off at 5pm at St James’ Park in Newcastle.

 

Champions League Final – Madrid, 1st June
Following Liverpool’s stunning comeback against Barcelona, we have confirmed more than 14 flights for Red’s supporters to Madrid for the Champions League final, and following Tottenham’s victory in Amsterdam, we are booking up London based departures for their fans travelling to Spurs’ very first Champions League Final.

Europa League Final
We wait with anticipation tonight to find out if both Chelsea or Arsenal can make it to the final on 29th May. (It will also be tense at Smart HQ with both Chelsea and Arsenal fans waiting for the result!) Following tonight’s results, Smart will face the challenge of arranging flights for fans of either club to the final which is being played in Baku, Azerbaijan on 29th May.

European charter solutions
Smart don’t just operate in the UK, we provide logistic solutions for European based clients and we can’t forget the final weekend of Premier League fixtures, with the title and top places all still to play for.  We have chartered two 189 seat aircraft from Scandinavia to Manchester on 12th May bringing Scandinavian Manchester United fans to their game versus Cardiff and also Nordic Liverpool supporters to their final match of the season versus Wolverhampton Wanderers.

 

This will be the 13th Champions League that Smart have been heavily involved in, and our extensive knowledge in operating sports flights has enabled us to answer the most challenging requests and meet the most unique requirements when chartering teams and supporters on behalf of specialist sports travel clients.

 

Smart arrange last minute long-haul rescue flight

Our assistance was called upon for a last-minute long-haul evacuation fight following recent events.

Smart Aviation are renowned for our ability to arrange last minute charters across the globe, whether for Airlines, private clients or tour operators.

Aircraft charter for last minute flight

At the end of last week, we received a call from our client, one of Europe’s largest travel companies, who needed a last-minute charter to repatriate clients from Sri Lanka following recent events.

Smart Aviation’s James Gregory was our Duty Manager. He quickly identified there was an Airbus A340 widebody airliner available and ready to depart at short notice. Agreements with the client were made swiftly leaving James to work on the remainder of the flight preparation.

James worked tirelessly all weekend to ensure no detail was missed in this challenging yet sensitive circumstance. “I continued liaising with the agencies to ensure all flight permits were in place, helped make arrangements for additional security whilst the crew were on the ground and kept all parties informed with the flight progress. Everything was taken care of,” he said.

Late last night our charter safely returned to Europe with almost 300 guests of our travel client on board. We are delighted that even in challenging and sensitive situations, our client trusted Smart Aviation to ensure their passengers could return home safely.

Contact our team today for all your charter requirements.

Combine business and leisure this Easter

Many of our clients who charter a jet for business will fly with family or friends and extend their stay to accommodate some leisure time with them.

Business and leisure travel private jet

 

Otherwise known as ‘bleisure’ travel.

It may be just one night, or an additional few days but it works for many reasons; it’s cost effective as the party travels together on the same aircraft – and it ultimately makes a business trip all that more enjoyable and less stressful.

The executive assistants we work with say it enables their very busy people to squeeze in some quality time with family, when they would otherwise not be able to.

For ‘millennial’ business travellers, who are accustomed to remote working, combining business travel with leisure makes good business sense too; an evening in an interesting city is the ideal opportunity for some networking.

Europe’s top tourist destinations like Rome aren’t the top bleisure travel destinations. Instead, Spain, Portugal, and Istanbul attract the most business travellers looking to enjoy the destinations.
Contact us for more information on how you can make the most of your business trip this Easter.

Smart Aviation

Smart Aviation