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 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.

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

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.

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.

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

In times of disruption, travel Smart

Hundreds of flights have either been cancelled or diverted following disruption at London Gatwick Airport (LGW) 19th and 20th December 2018.

It’s the last weekend before Christmas and passengers will be travelling to spend time with loved ones.

Gatwick Airport (LGW) have reported sightings of two drones flying over the airport, causing this major disruption.

Smart Aviation, European charter specialists, provide a bespoke charter service. Travelling with Smart means we can provide a unique service for you. We can:

  • React to emergency situations,
  • We maintain a list of flights and airports available so we can get you to your destination as planned,
  • No stress of unexpected delays.

Director of Smart Aviation, Mark Hawkins commented; ‘Disruption before Christmas has put a major strain on airlines, airports and passengers. Smart are here to help provide you with an alternative travel arrangement if needed.’

Contact us:

+44 (0)1293 551244

sales@smart-aviation.co.uk

Private jets for transfer signings

Premier League Summer 2018 transfers

The Premier League’s summer transfer window is open and will close at 17:00 BST on Thursday 9 August – that’s over three weeks earlier than usual. Under new FA rules, English clubs must complete transfer signings before the Premier League season starts on Saturday, 11 August.

The window opened on 17 May and the earlier deadline will ensure that clubs have a more stable start to the 2018/2019 season. They’ll be able to sell players until the end of August but all buying activity must be completed by the new deadline of 9 August.

Whilst the FA have changed the rules for all English clubs, FIFA’s official deadline remains Friday, 31 August and Spanish, German, Italian and French clubs can sign players from English sides until 31 August. The transfer window in Scotland also ends on 31 August.

Private jet charters

In our experience, demand for private jet charters increases in the last week of the transfer window, as football clubs push to get those all-important contracts signed before the deadline.

We’ve been assisting football clubs with private jet charters for transfer talks, medicals and signings for many years – and our experienced team understand the specific requirements of this type of charter.

By nature, these private flights are often last-minute and require the utmost discretion; as European charter specialists, we’re well positioned to react quickly and present the most suitable charter options at a competitive price. Very light jets or light jets (see our aircraft guide) provide a quick, convenient and comfortable way to move a professional player across Europe and back again within a working day – and we’ve been known to have a jet in the air within an hour of receiving a charter request!

Contact us about a private jet charter or read more about our sports charters.

Ibiza 2018

Private jet charter to Ibiza

Our most-chartered-to summer destination

We charter private jets to Ibiza for big name DJs and music artists every year – they travel smart, often spending just a couple of hours at an event before flying on to their next gig on the same night.

But they’re missing out; the White Isle has so much to offer that it’s one of our most chartered to European destinations every summer. Stay a while and this pretty, sun-drenched island will have you hooked and coming back year after year – just ask our Managing Director, Mark!

Flying to the White Isle

If you’re Ibiza bound this summer, we’ll make sure your private jet charter is as exceptional as this Balearic beauty. Our quick, discreet private jet charter service is fully bespoke and will ensure you receive the most convenient and comfortable travel experience. We’ll listen carefully to your requirements to source the perfect private jet charter for your trip to Ibiza, accommodating all those personal touches that are so important.

Whether you’re travelling to Ibiza with family, friends or both, we have access to private jets of all sizes – including the most desired jets available for charter – so can source the very best aircraft for your party.

Ibiza’s international airport (IBZ) (Catalan: Aeroport d’Eivissa or Spanish: Aeropuerto de Ibiza) has a dedicated private jet terminal, away from the main terminal building. Upon arrival, we can organise an onward helicopter transfer to your villa, yacht or event, if required.

Contact us for a private jet charter quote

Smart Aviation

Smart Aviation