smart since 2005

Smart Aviation Heads Straight to the Finals

football

 

16 May 2022: Smart Aviation, the leaders in global sports aircraft chartering, is reporting a record number of sports group charter bookings as the culmination of 2021-2022 sporting seasons come to a climax this May. Over the last 17 years, we have transported thousands of teams, media, VIPS and sporting fans to high profile sporting fixtures all across the world. Following two years of restricted travel due to Covid-19, the sporting arm of the business is back with a bang, chartering a vast array of flights to key football and rugby tournament finals in Spain and France over the next few weeks. 

Smart Aviation has arranged 13 dedicated charters for Rangers F.C. fans who will see their team take on Eintracht Frankfurt in the UEFA Europa League Final on Wednesday, 18th May 2022. The complex schedule of chartered flights includes a mix of day trips and overnight trips from Glasgow to the beautiful Spanish city of Seville, where the match will be played at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán Stadium. 

Liverpool F.C. look to continue their winning streak following their FA Cup victory over Chelsea F.C. last Saturday, as they head to the UEFA Champions League Final in Paris on Saturday, 28th May to play against Real Madrid. Smart Aviation is arranging charters for Liverpool’s loyal fans who hope to see their team lift the trophy for the seventh time. 

Smart Aviation’s comprehensive sports charter operation is also involved in the Rugby League’s Heineken Champions Cup Final on Saturday, 28th May. Irish favourites Leinster will battle it out against La Rochelle in the beautiful Stade Vélodrome in Marseille. Passionate Irish fans will travel alongside sporting officials and VIPS to Marsellie in France, on a variety of different charters from Dublin, planned meticulously by Smart Aviation. 

Alongside these chartered flights, Smart Aviation is also working on a range of bespoke private jet bookings for clients to travel to Paris, Seville and Marseille in style from a range of UK private jet terminals.

Smart representatives will be on hand at each of the departing airports to ensure a smooth departure for both new and existing clients, which is all part of the Smart Service – going that extra mile to provide exceptional customer care.

Smart Aviation was founded in 2005 by Managing Director Mark Hawkins, an established sports charter specialist with almost 30 years’ experience in senior operational roles within the travel and aviation industry. Previously Hawkins managed sports charters at Excel Airways, which included flying over 4,000 fans to a football final. 

Over the last 17 years, Mark has dedicated much of his time to sports clients, overseeing thousands of charters to high profile fixtures and tournaments and positioning Smart Aviation as industry leaders in sport chartering.   

Hawkins said: “We are delighted to be back doing such large volume sports charters. Sport has always been at the core of what we do as a company and unfortunately, Covid hit this area of travel hard. Our highly skilled team offers a truly personal service to all our clients. The key to our success is flexibility, as each clients’ requirements vary considerably, and our goal is to exceed expectations every time.”

Smart Aviation’s comprehensive charter service frequently provides air travel for global sports teams to key sporting fixtures including Champions League and Premier League football matches, as well as to ice-hockey, boxing, basketball, golf, motorsport and cricket tournaments.

Why choose Smart?

Our business revolves around you

– Exactly what you need

– You’re dealing with the experts. Our goal is excellence in service and execution – our extensive knowledge and expertise ensure we deliver.

Cost effective with no compromise

– Our unrivalled operator relationships and leverage in the European market ensures you get the most cost-effective solution, without compromising on quality.

We are always available

– 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.

Call or email us today – sales@smart-aviation.co.uk / + 44 1293 551244

Smart Aviation lands one of the world’s renowned sports teams

Private jet over sunset

Smart Aviation, the leading global sports charter specialists, has chartered three European flights in November for one of the most prestigious international sports teams in the world.

The flights to the team’s away games in Rome, Dublin and Paris took months of preparation by Smart’s Clive Head, Senior Charter Broker Sports Division. His meticulous planning ensured a smooth passage for the team on every flight.

The complex travel itinerary included meeting with the team’s travel coordinator to walk through the departure, managing the precise handling of the team’s kit, liaising with ground agents to ensure swift departures, arranging the personalised check-in desks and the handling of specific catering requirements for the sport stars.

Clive Head said: “We are honoured to have chartered these flights for this internationally renowned sports team. It is my role to handle the sports charters and we fly established sports teams on a regular basis. The calibre of this team was particularly exciting, and we are delighted that everything was seamless. Meeting the team and seeing them off from Cardiff AIrport is definitely a career highlight for me.”

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.

Why choose Smart?

Our business revolves around you
– Exactly what you need
– You’re dealing with the experts. Our goal is excellence in service and execution – our extensive knowledge and expertise ensure we deliver.

Cost effective with no compromise
– Our unrivalled operator relationships and leverage in the European market ensures you get the most cost-effective solution, without compromising on quality.

We are always available
– 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.

Contact Smart Aviation today.

 

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 be a 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 we 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.

A Smart look back at Euro 2020

What a brilliant Euro 2020 tournament! England did us all proud and congratulations to Italy for winning what was a very tough competition.

As the leaders in global sports aircraft chartering, having just finished our fifth consecutive European Championship football operation, the Euros certainly kept us all busy here at Smart Aviation HQ. In the absence of flying British fans to matches, we successfully chartered aircrafts for government officials, media, VIP guests and fans from different countries to one of the many host countries.

During Covid, we’ve seen that our clients are relying on our 16-years of expertise more than ever and we were delighted to be involved in such a huge, global tournament again.

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 Hawkins said: “We’ve had great success with our charter flights for the Euros over the last few weeks and as global sport charter specialists, we are very easily able to charter flights for travellers from different countries. 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. This is our strength and we played to it”.

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.

 

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

Empty Legs

What is an empty leg?

Those in the know use ’empty legs’ to reduce the cost of regular private jet charter. If you have a bit of flexibility in your schedule then choosing an empty leg could well be for you.

Put simply, they are empty flights – due to operate without any passengers, one way, as the aircraft and crew need to reposition back to base or elsewhere for the next flight.

It makes good business sense to have someone on-board sharing some of the cost of the flight. These empty sectors are offered at a reduced price; a win-win situation and the perfect solution to that last minute business flight or personal trip.

Charter a private jet empty leg through us

You’ll receive the same standard and benefits of private jet travel, both on the ground and in the air, with the added advantage of a more cost effective way to travel.

Please contact our dedicated charter specialists 24/7 with your empty leg request.

Smart Aviation commences 15th annual pilgrimage charter operation to Lourdes

The world’s largest Catholic pilgrimage to Lourdes begins this month and Smart Aviation’s comprehensive charter service will be transporting over 43,500 passengers on more than 150 flights to the universal place of meeting, prayer and celebration of life.

Lourdes pilgrimage

 

Since 1858 when the Marian apparitions of Our Lady of Lourdes appeared to Bernadette Soubirous, over six million worshippers per year travel to the foothills of the Pyrenees, a place that offers hope and consolation to those in need of healing and peace.

For the last 15 years, Smart Aviation has been running a substantial charter operation to the Holy French town from February to October, with departures from Dublin, Shannon and Cork in Ireland, as well as charters from regional UK airports including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leeds and Southampton.

Smart Aviation offers a truly personalised service and is highly experienced in handling the most delicate of requests for clients on the pilgrimage including arranging wheelchair access, meal requirements and dedicated handling agents.

Smart Aviation transports pilgrims to join the most extensive programmes led by Spiritual Directors and coordinated locally with highly skilled teams. With over 22 places of worship to visit, including the miraculous spring in the Grotto that is famous for its healing waters, travellers can choose between short breaks or weeklong pilgrimages. With a huge demand, travellers are advised to book well in advance.

Smart Aviation Managing Director Mark Hawkins said:

“Every year we look forward to the beginning of our charter service to Lourdes, the most visited pilgrimage site in the Christian world. We understand just how important this annual pilgrimage is to these clients and our meticulous attention to detail ensures all passengers arrive relaxed and ready to start their spiritual journey. I also personally join a pilgrimage charter annually to interact with the passengers and ensure the high-standards we have set within the industry continue to be upheld”.

Contact Smart Aviation today

Email: sales@smart-aviation.co.uk

Call: +44(0)1293 551244

Smart Aviation Charters National Football teams

Smart transports national football teams to the Euro 2020 qualifiers.

 

Jet 2 plane image

 

Leaders in sport travel since 2005, Smart Aviation, have had a busy weekend transporting national teams for the Euro 2020 qualifiers. Clive Head, our experienced Charter Broker for sports charter is our ‘go-to’ person for arranging flights for sports teams and fans.

Clive has a long-standing relationship with his clients who always turn to his expertise when booking some of the highest profile and well-known sporting names. This weekend Smart Aviation chartered 7 flights, transporting national football teams to their destinations ahead of the fixtures. Our operations team were monitoring flights using industry leading flight watching systems, ensuring all flights had departed and arrived on schedule.

At Smart we pride ourselves in our aviation industry experience. We’ve earned a reputation for a specialist charter broker who can provide cost effective and quality aircraft charters with no compromise on service.

Contact Clive Head for your upcoming charter requirements.

sales@smart-aviation.co.uk

+44 (0)1293 551 244

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.

Smart Aviation

Smart Aviation