Private Charter flights are highly recommended for sports team travel, providing a safer and more flexible travel option.
Despite the tough year for the Aviation industry – Smart Aviation has been seeing an increase in charter flights in March. Thanks to international football matches still being allowed to continue. This is, of course, without fans but nevertheless Smart has been involved in moving international football teams to their World Cup qualifiers matches and some international friendlies. March has been our busiest month so far this year with over 19 charters for domestic UK football teams and football teams around Europe, which is proof that the industry is picking up and confidence is growing in air travel once again.
Clive Head, our specialist sports broker has over 30 years experience in the industry and has been working hard with some international federations and teams as well as our trusted suppliers to ensure everything is organised to ensure smooth transfers of players and kit to their final destination in a safe manner.
At Smart we don’t just charter for football. We are incredibly proud that over the last quarter we have been involved in moving sports men and women to Ice Hockey, Handball and Basketball games. We have also been working hard with the organisers of the high profile Boxing match in Gibraltar this weekend. Brief’s such as these, especially in these current times take a lot of planning and we have worked closely with Inflite private terminal in Stansted and other authorities to ensure the passengers all have the correct paperwork in order to be allowed to travel and to ensure their journey is seamless from the point of departure to their arrival in Gibraltar.
As always, the Smart operations team were on hand 24/7 updating our clients with flight progress using industry leading systems.
Why choose Smart?
– You’re dealing with the experts. Our goal is excellence in service and execution – our extensive knowledge and expertise ensure we deliver.
– Our unrivalled operator relationships ensure you get the most cost-effective solution, without compromising on quality.
– 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.
Unfortunately, it is no secret that the ACMI sector in our industry is currently quiet. This is due to airlines across the globe with reduced operations. Smart Aviation ACMI division are always ready to assist any of our clients.
Friday late evening, Smart Aviation received an urgent ACMI AOG request from one of our valued clients. Daniel Parker, Head of ACMI & Flight Operations Control was as ready as ever.
The request was to transport 120 passengers finishing their holidays in the Greek Isles and flying them home to Scandinavia. Our ACMI specialist knew the perfect provider for this urgent recovery operation. Daniel located a 180 seat A320 narrow body aircraft via a trusted European provider. Working closely with both parties to ensure everything was set up for the operation, in just two hours following the call, the aircraft was launched from its base and on-route to rescue the operation.
“The industry has changed dramatically over the past 6 months due to COVID-19. A lot of UK and European airlines have sadly been lost in this time, and many trusted aviation colleagues have faced difficult times. I have maintained relationships with key contacts and never lost touch even during these difficult times. I always call to see how everyone is regardless of the situation. Myself and my team work to solve the problem together with our partners. We’ve always worked as an extension to their operations team,” commented Daniel.
Daniel worked closely with the partner to ensure no detail is missed. “Our main priority for any request is the safety of our passengers and to ensure all COVID-19 protocols are adhered to. We acted swiftly in providing a solution so that our client avoided putting the passengers in a hotel overnight. They were transported home as planned,” he said.
How do Smart Aviation respond so quickly to requests?
Smart are on hand 24/7. We understand that travel requests are not just Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm. Our specialist team are ready to assist and provide the best and most feasible solution to any request you have.
Getting you closer to where you need to be – worldwide
Smart Aviation recently received a challenging brief for some complex charters in the USA. We knew the perfect person to handle it. Step forward Smart Aviation Managing Director Mark Hawkins.
Mark founded the company in 2005 and takes pride in the industry knowledge and expertise he has gained during his career. Each request gets unique treatment at Smart Aviation. This operation was a challenge – we had an itinerary that wouldn’t work on schedule airlines. Our client was a major European corporation who wanted to take 100 of its team across the USA over several days.
The arrangements took a few months of preparation here in the UK. One key aspect of the schedule was to be able to try and secure an arrival at Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico. We worked together with our partners for this trip, US based Carrier Swift Air. This partnership meant we could arrange with the US military to allow our passengers to land. This mean our clients were much closer to their final destination.
The charter started in Chicago. First stop on the itinerary was Twin Falls Idaho, before continuing on to New Mexico. After their site visits were complete, it was back to Chicago, where our clients connected with their scheduled flights back to Europe.
All preparations were made from our office in the UK. Although we are UK based, our reach is global and our duty of care didn’t end as soon as the first flight took off. Our operations team were on hand 24/7. We use industry leading systems to watch the progress of all our charters. Swift Air took excellent care of our clients and the client has given us great feedback.
“The benefits of having a close-knit team means channels of communication aren’t restricted. My team help and support one another and so all operations are handled proactively. I was working on this project around the clock for a few months, due to the time zone differences. This is an example of the Smart flexibility we provide,” said Mark Hawkins.
With over 200 years’ team experience in aviation, we have the knowledge and contacts to solve even the most challenging requests. This means not only do we get you the right aircraft, but also, to the right location.
Next time let Smart take you to where you really need to go.