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.

England Green List Countries

On Friday 7th May 2021, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed that international travel in England will be restarting. The UK government have introduced a traffic light system for people in England. The initial 12 countries listed, will not require people to quarantine on return from 17 May 2021.

Portugal

The 12 countries and territories on the green list are:

Portugal

Israel

Singapore

Australia

New Zealand

Brunei

Iceland

Gibraltar

Falkland Islands

Faroe Islands

South Georgia and the Sandwich Islands

St Helena, Tristan de Cunha and Ascension Island

The list will be reviewed regularly and countries can be added or removed at short notice.

 

Smart Aviation Managing Director Mark Hawkins said:

“Smart Aviation have been safely chartering during this pandemic. We understand that safety is still our number one priority and we are keen to get our clients travelling to their much loved holiday destinations, reunite with family and friends or enjoy a much needed break. This is a positive step in the right direction for travel and we look forward to more countries added to the green list and the world opening up soon.”

Here at Smart, we have access to many aircrafts flying across Europe and the rest of the world ready for you to use. We’re also making sure we keep up-to-date on the information regarding current restrictions, and we are monitoring these restrictions as the rules begin to change, to ensure you will be traveling safely. When you are ready to book, we will be ready to take you there.

Send us your requirements today and we will provide you with a no obligation quote.

Why chose Smart Aviation:

Travel Safe

Social distancing measures will be maintained

Deep cleaning, hygiene and sanitisation at private terminals and on private aircrafts

Fewer touch points when travelling privately

Time

You really can buy time; travel to your exact schedule

You dictate when the plane departs and where from

We can handle complex itineraries and multiple stops with ease

Comfort

Luxurious cabins

Space and privacy

Bespoke menus and refreshments

Convenience

Get nearer to your final destination; chartering opens up a whole other world of smaller airports to fly to

No waiting, most private charters fly from private terminals

Avoid long airport queues or security hold ups

No baggage limits

Flexibility

The flexibility to change flight times or airports

Cost

A cost-effective option, taking into account all the benefits and cost of first-class travel with some commercial airlines

Contact Smart Aviation today for a quote.

Awesome April

The road map out of the UK lockdown has commenced and now more than ever Smart Aviation clients are ready for the month of April to continue to be awesome.

With the holiday season fast approaching, Smart are ready to take care of your travel arrangements, providing a safer travel option.

Private jet

When travelling by private jet, you can avoid many touch points in the private terminals and on the aircraft from the start to the end of your journey. But that’s not all. Here are a few reasons why you should choose to travel safely by private jet with a trusted charter broker.

Travel Safe
– Social distancing measures will be maintained
– Deep cleaning, hygiene and sanitisation at private terminals and on private aircrafts
– Fewer touch points when travelling privately

Time
– You really can buy time; travel to your exact schedule
– You dictate when the plane departs and where from
– We can handle complex itineraries and multiple stops with ease

Comfort
– Luxurious cabins
– Space and privacy
– Bespoke menus and refreshments

Convenience
– Get nearer to your final destination; chartering opens up a whole other world of smaller airports to fly to
– No waiting, most private charters fly from private terminals
– Avoid long airport queues or security hold ups
– No baggage limits

Flexibility
– The flexibility to change flight times or airports

Cost
– A cost-effective option, taking into account all the benefits and cost of first-class travel with some commercial airlines.

At Smart, we have access to many aircrafts flying across Europe and the rest of the world ready for you to use. We’re also making sure we keep up-to-date on the information regarding current restrictions, and we are monitoring these restrictions as the rules begin to change, to ensure you will be traveling safely. When you are ready to book, we will be ready to take you there.

Send us your requirements today and we will provide you with a no obligation quote.

 

COVID-19 private travel

Smart charters to the European qualifiers

European football season continues and Smart Aviation are delighted to be chartering teams.

 

UEFA Champions League and Europa League

 

Since the company started 15 year ago, Smart Aviation have been involved in transporting thousands of teams and football fans around Europe. This week see’s yet another busy week at Smart Headquarters. The team will be seeing off 6 charters for the second qualifying round of the Europa League and third qualifying rounds of the Champions League.

The ongoing situation with COVID 19 has extended safety and security measures on our check list. Safe travelling is our number one priority and the Smart team have effortlessly adapted to the latest travel requirements. Our operations team provide live and up to date travel information from around the world.

Founded in 2005 by sports charter specialist, Managing Director Mark Hawkins, Smart Aviation has overseen key sporting fixtures around the world including Champions League and Premier League football matches, as well as to ice-hockey, boxing, basketball, golf, motorsport and cricket tournaments.

Mark said: “We have a reputation for offering the highest level of service in aircraft chartering and that’s why a lot of sports teams and official supporter groups rely on our expertise to ensure both players and fans get to where they need to be promptly, comfortably and safely.”

 

Contact Smart Aviation today for a non-obligatory quote.

Email: sales@smart-aviation.co.uk

Telephone: +44(0)1293 551244

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

 

Viva Espana!

VIVA ESPANA! One day after the Summer solstice, Spain is fully opening its borders following one of the toughest lockdowns in Europe.

summer solsticeWe have seen an unprecedented demand over the last few weeks, as the date becomes closer, for travel to Spain. As one of the most popular countries in Europe for second homes, people are clamouring to get back to their vacation properties.

The most popular destinations that Smart are arranging flights for are Palma de Mallorca and Malaga, both easily reachable within a few hours. Aircraft types we have now confirmed include Mustang, CJ2, XLS, Hawker800, Legacy600 and CL850.

Smart Aviation Managing Director Mark Hawkins said ‘It’s been an exciting couple of weeks in the office with huge demand due to the gradual easing of lockdown across Europe. Huge praise to the team for pulling together to assist our Private Jet division.’

As Europe opens up even more, these appealing Spanish destinations should be on your wish list so to arrange your trip, feel free to contact Smart now to discuss any plans. We are fully up to date regarding travel restrictions.

Here we have a brief look at our popular Spanish destinations.

MALLORCA

While justifiably renowned for its beautiful beaches and weather, there is a lot more to this picturesque island in the Balearic than meets the eye. As the largest Island in Spain, the capital Palma offers sightseeing amongst the cathedrals and cobbled streets as well as being its vibrant and lively hub. Further afield there are pretty mountain villages to explore as well as the more infamous beach resorts.

spain beach

IBIZA

Sister island to Mallorca, Ibiza offers an experience like no other. As one of Europe’s favourite nightlife playgrounds. Ibiza boasts more than 100 miles of coastline with some 50 beaches, plus plenty of restaurants, bars, and water sports—and clubs, of course. The White Island will enchant you with its infamous sunsets and quieter coastal villages where you can find peace and tranquillity.

 

MALAGA

The province of Malaga is located in southern Spain, in the region of Andalucía, on the shores of the Mediterranean sea. Its coastline is commonly referred to as the Costa del Sol and extends along 161km with a backdrop of majestic mountains. Inland there are numerous traditional white washed villages. Beaches range from busy and vibrant with bars and restaurants to quiet isolated small coves, where your only company can be the soothing lap of the surf. For the golfers there are many courses some being of world-class golf standard. The local cuisine is full of seafood and shellfish and with an average of 300 days of sunshine a year it has a wonderful sub-tropical Mediterranean climate.

Contact Smart Aviation

Email: sales@smart-aviation.co.uk

Call: +44(0)1293 551244

Social distancing – the new normal?

Is social distancing the new normal?

Here at Smart, we have continued to remain busy during the COVID-19 pandemic informing our Group Charter clients how they can safely travel when the restrictions are lifted.

social distancing

As things begin to return to a ‘new normal’ we have been advising our clients on the positives of using slightly larger aircraft at private terminals where possible. This enables a high standard of deep cleaning pre-flight, and excellent PPE equipment for any staff and passengers. If required, a meal box can be left on the seat for each passenger therefore limiting personal contact and reassuring both our clients and their groups of how we consider their safety of the highest importance.

Moving forward, we aim to adapt as the pandemic eases offering our clients the best service and information available as it comes in.

 

Should you want to see how we can help moving forward on your next group charter please contact us today!

E – sales@smart-aviation.co.uk
P – 0044 1293 551244

Private Jets safe travel options following Covid-19 pandemic

Private Jet specialist Smart Aviation explain the benefits of travelling via private jet following Covid-19 pandemic.

Private Jet

New Beginnings

As Europe and other parts of the world are beginning to see a slow and steady reopening after the Covid-19 pandemic, Smart Aviation are here to offer you a bespoke service offering aircraft charters and particularly private jets to meet your every requirement. More and more countries are now lifting their travel restrictions and border controls and this is opening up the possibilities of travelling to these destinations. At Smart Aviation we are monitoring the reopening of travel and all the current legalities and are on hand to offer you the most up to date advice.

Private Jets

Private jet travel is an option which provides a safe way to travel in the current climate as there is limited interaction with other people without the need to visit busy terminals, and the ability to provide more in-depth protective measures on the ground and in the air. In addition to this, of course the aircraft will be sanitised and disinfected to a very high standard prior to every flight. We therefore are seeing a large demand for the private jet option leading to limited availability on certain aircraft types. As experts in this area for 15 years, here at Smart Aviation we can help with any needs or requirements you may have.

Why Smart?

  • We are an agile, flexible business with low overheads: we pass on these benefits to clients
  • We have unrivalled relationships with our suppliers: we always get the best price for you
  • 24 hour office-based coverage, 7 days a week: we are always here when you need us
  • One dedicated account manager: ensuring we understand your requirements
  • Industry experts: we use our knowledge to find the right aircraft for you

We work in a fully transparent manner and ensure we will always provide you, the client, with the very best solution for your needs – not always the one that is the most lucrative for us.

STAY SAFE, STAY SMART

Contact us for a non-obligatory quote or travel advice today

T: +44(0)1293 551244

E: sales@smart-aviation.co.uk

Smart Aviation report an increase in private jet charter bookings

Smart Aviation have noticed an increase of 18% in bookings for private jet charters over the last two weeks.

Private Jet interior layoutMark Hawkins Managing Director, Smart Aviation specialises on the commercial and group charter division of the business.

COVID-19 continues to cause much panic worldwide. The threat to businesses and individuals has forced many major events to be cancelled.  Flights have been suspended and global restrictions in place. Our private jet bookings team have reported an increase in private jet enquiries and bookings. The Smart team are here to help those who require travel arrangements,” said Mark.

Travel Smart

Time
– You really can buy time; travel to your exact schedule
– You dictate when the plane departs and where from
– We can handle complex itineraries and multiple stops with ease

Comfort
– Luxurious cabins
– Space and privacy
– Bespoke menus and refreshments

Convenience
– Get nearer to your final destination; chartering opens up a whole other world of smaller airports to fly to
– No waiting, most private charters fly from private terminals
– Avoid long airport queues or security hold ups
– No baggage limits

Flexibility
– The flexibility to change flight times or airports

Cost
– A cost-effective option, taking into account all the benefits and cost of first-class travel with some commercial airlines.

Contact Smart Aviation for a non-obligatory quote today.

Smart Aviation

Smart Aviation