smart since 2005

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 10 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.

Six Nations kicks off with Smart

Six Nations kicks off with Smart

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”

No such thing as a ‘Break’

International Squads fly Smart

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.

Clive Head, our experienced Sports charter specialist

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.

 

2018 FIFA World Cup

Charter flights to fixtures

Excitement is building for the start of the 21st FIFA World Cup!

The tournament kicks off on Thursday 14 June when host nation Russia take on Group A opponents Saudi Arabia at the Luzhniki  Stadium in Moscow.

Given the distances involved when travelling within Russia, aircraft charter presents the most viable and convenient option for travel to the World Cup fixtures and we are pleased to be providing charter flights for an international football federation and their supporters, as well as flights for one of FIFA’s corporate partners.

World Cup build-up

We started working on sourcing aircraft for the World Cup 2018 in 2017 and worked closely with trusted operators and airlines to ensure availability for key dates.

Our extensive experience in commercial jet charter for football clubs, national federations and sports tour operators means that we were best placed to advise on the most suitable aircraft solutions to meet the unique requirements of World Cup charter flights within Russia. During the World Cup Qualifying period, we chartered aircraft for European national teams and their supporters, on behalf of our specialist sports travel clients.

The tournament will be played in 12 stadiums across 11 cities, all of which are in or very close to European Russia. Our clients will be utilising these international airports for access to the stadia shown on the map below.

Russian International Airports

Moscow Domodedovo Airport (DME)

Kazan International Airport (KZN)

Pulkovo International Airport (LED)

Kurumoch International Airport (KUF)

Sochi International Airport (AER)

Volgograd International Airport (VOG)

 

Champions League Final 2018

Charter flights for supporters

After an eventful Champions League Final yesterday, all our return charter flights for supporters have now touched down.

It wasn’t the result the Reds were after, but our direct charter flights to Kiev ensured that over 2,500 Liverpool and Real Madrid supporters were there to see their teams go head to head for the European cup.

We’re pleased to say that, despite the negative reports surrounding travel to the final, all of our charter flights operated as planned.

There’s no doubt that the location of the fixture made it a logistically challenging event to provide direct flights for, but the expertise of our experienced charter team has proved invaluable for our sports tour operator clients – from sourcing aircraft right up to on-the-day operations.

It was a team effort, powered by plenty of espresso and overseen by Mark Hawkins and Matthew Savage, our MD and Sales Director, who drew on their 45 years’ combined experience to personally ensure that everything was in place for the flights.

A sensational month of sport

What a month we’ve had so far!

Ahead of the Champions League Final this weekend, we’re reflecting on what will be our busiest month of sports charters this year.

There’s no doubt about it – the Champions League Final is a logistically challenging event to source aircraft and secure slots for, but the experience and knowledge of our team has ensured that our sports travel clients are fully prepared and able to deliver their tour packages to customers.

Mark, our Founder and MD and Matthew, our Sales Director, with over 45 years’ experience in aviation between them, have committed time and expertise to ensure that everything is in place.

Our team’s decades of experience, unrivalled relationships with operators and leverage in the European market ensure that we deliver the most cost-effective solution for our clients, without compromising on quality, every time. We’re proud that our clients rely on us year-after-year because, when it comes to unmissable sports fixtures, there’s no room for mistakes.

Here’s a roundup of all our sports charters in May:

Champions Cup Final, Bilbao, 12th May

Racing 92 v Leinster Rugby

Our day return charters carried over 2,500 Leinster rugby supporters from Dublin International Airport (DUB) to Bilbao Airport (BIO) to see their team play in the final – and win.

Europa League Final, Lyon, 16th May

Marseille v Atlético Madrid

We had several aircraft charters for Atlético Madrid supporters from Madrid Airport (MAD) to Lyon–Saint Exupéry Airport (LYS) to see their team beat Marseille 3 – 0 at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais.

Champions League Final, Kiev, 26th May

Real Madrid v Liverpool

Our direct charter flights will ensure that over 2,500 Liverpool and Real Madrid supporters will be in Kiev to see the Champions League Final.

Team Travel

As well as supporter travel, we’ve chartered aircraft on behalf of European football clubs for their team travel to Premiership, Championship, La Liga and Austrian Bundesliga fixtures. And with the summer break, we’ve assisted professional football players with private jet charters to holiday destinations across the world too.

Follow our #smartlovessport hashtag on Instagram for all our sport related news.

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 – james.gregory@smart-aviation.co.uk or call +44 (0)1293 551244.

Connect with James on LinkedIn.

Private air travel to F1 GPs

From Australia to Abu Dhabi, F1 is unmissable.

We assist sponsors, corporate groups and individuals with private jet charters to Grand Prix race weekends.

Whether you are chartering a jet to fly VIP clients in for an entire weekend of hospitality or require a day return private jet charter on race day itself, our experienced charter team will source the best aircraft to suit your needs and budget. We can also organise helicopter transfers for onward travel direct to the circuit, for a seamless experience.

Monaco Grand Prix

It will come as no surprise that one of our most-chartered-to events in the European calendar is the iconic Monaco GP, taking place on Sunday 27 May in 2018. Private jet charters can fly into nearby Nice Cote d’Azur International Airport, with Monaco just a short helicopter flight away. We can fly you to the heart of the action, or to a nearby yacht charter or villa.

2018 F1 Race Calendar

Sun 25 Mar, Australian GP, Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit

Sun 8 Apr, Bahrain GP, Bahrain International Circuit

Sun 15 Apr, Chinese GP, Shanghai International Circuit

Sun 29 Apr, Azurbaijan GP, Baku City Circuit

Sun 13 May, Spanish GP, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya

Sun 27 May, Monaco GP, Circuit de Monaco

Sun 10 Jun, Canadian GP, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve

Sun 24 Jun, French GP, Circuit Paul Ricard

Sun 1 Jul, Austrian GP, Red Bull Ring

Sun 8 Jul, British GP, Silverstone Circuit

Sun 22 Jul, German GP, Hockenheimring

Sun 29 Jul, Hungarian GP, Hungaroring

Sun 26 Aug, Belgian GP, Spa-Francorchamps

Sun 2 Sep, Italian GP, Autodromo Nazionale Monza

Sun 16 Sep, Singapore GP, Marina Bay Street Circuit

Sun 30 Sep, Russian GP, Sochi International Street Circuit

Sun 7 Oct, Japanese GP, Suzuka Circuit

Sun 21 Oct, United States GP, Circuit of the Americas

Sun 28 Oct, Mexican GP, Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez

Sun 11 Nov, Brazilian GP, Autódromo José Carlos Pace

Sun 25 Nov, Abu Dhabi GP, Yas Marina Circuit

Contact us for a personalised quote for your next private jet charter.

Smart Aviation

Smart Aviation