smart since 2005

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.

 

60 seconds with Charter Broker Clive Head

Clive has over 40 years aviation industry knowledge and is a real asset to the Smart team.

Clive is an approachable colleague and the ‘go to’ person in the office for his industry experience.

Clive Head - Charter Broker

What does a typical day look like for you?

Working in the commercial jet side of the business means I take full responsibility of high-profile sports men and women. Detail is key in my role. Collating relevant information and researching ahead of contacting clients shows professionalism and helps build trust from the very first conversation. I catch up on world and industry news as the aviation world can change at the blink of an eye.

What do you love about working in Aviation?

I’ve been interested in aviation since the age of 8. My father used to work for British United Engineering, at Southend Airport back in the 1950’s (Now I’m really showing my age!). My work in aviation began as an Air Traffic Control Assistant at Southend Airport and I have been in aviation since. Every day is different in my role. Its an extremely enjoyable industry to be a part of.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Gaining the trust of new clients is always a challenge but once they have experienced the Smart journey, they are loyal customers. My industry knowledge allows me to deal with any unforeseen circumstances swiftly. Knowing who to contact and how to rectify an issue comes with years of rapport building.

What one item do you rely on most to do your job?

My experience in the aviation industry is the one thing I will forever be able to rely on for my job. I have become the ‘go to’ person in the office for my aviation knowledge, which I am happy to share with my team.

What do you do when you are not working?

In my spare time I enjoy socialising with friends and am no stranger to concerts. I’m not one to sit around, there’s too many amazing places to explore in the world.

Where would you be working if you hadn’t chosen aviation?

I have been in aviation all of my working life, so I’ve never really given this much thought. I enjoy my sports, playing when I was younger and now watching and supporting various sports. I also enjoy painting and decorating. It’s an extremely therapeutic task which requires much patience.

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.

 

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.

 

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.

Smart Aviation

Smart Aviation