Farnborough, UK-based Gama Aviation has just introduced a Cessna CJ2+ to its managed charter fleet, new onto the UK register. Together with the addition of a 13-seat Falcon 2000 imminently its European charter fleet now totals 28 aircraft, 11 of which are based in the UK. Its success in winning tri-zone Wyvern approval across its three continental bases – Europe, USA and the Middle East has had a strong effect in boosting cross-continental client sharing, according to Commercial Manager Paul Cremer. It has helped gain more international clients – in Russia, the Middle East, including Royal family members and music tour arrangers, for example. Gama offices in the regions share clients to ensure a consistent level of service and local knowledge means the clients are assured of attention to detail. Gama clients have a fleet of 83 aircraft to experience, based out of Europe, Russia, the Middle East and Continental USA. Client interface has also been strengthened by the arrival of Trevor Jones as Director of Client Services – a new role.
Gama Aviation reports a steady amount of wide-bodied charter and clients are primarily business clients flying to destinations in the USA, India and South Africa. The company also reports an upturn in the UK/Europe charter market of smaller and mid-size jet usage, by government, VIP, celebrity, business executive and leisure travel. Overall, business is up about 7% compared with this time last year.
In August Gama signed an exclusive partnership with Asia Miles to provide business jet services to its 3.9 million members worldwide. Asia Miles members can now earn miles when using Gama’s business jet services, which can connect with prestigious Asian airlines such as Cathay Pacific and Dragonair. Asia Miles members with onward connections to destinations that are not served by Asia Miles partner airlines can arrange a connecting sector by business jet with Gama to destinations such as Lugano, Cannes and St Moritz. The deal signifies the first step toward Gama’s planned expansion into the Asia market, building on the success of the company’s international network currently centered in Europe, the Middle East and the USA. By partnering with Asia Miles, Gama will bring its bespoke travel services to the most sophisticated travellers in Asia.
Gama has appointed London-based premium business aviation catering supplier Alison Price On Air to support its UK based fleet, a move that has proved very popular with the clients. Internationally it is working with Private Flight aviation catering network, an agreement formalised at EBACE last year, following a successful three month trial.
Gama, which recently recruited its 100th pilot – fleetwide - has bolstered its senior operations team. Capt. Steve Woodfine has been promoted to Chief Pilot. A five-year Gama employee and formerly Fleet Manager bringingover 30 years’ commercial flying experience to the role having previously held management positions at South African Airways, Dan Air, Virgin Express and easyJet. Ian Cheese has been appointed Director of Flight Operations. Ian is responsible for all aspects of Gama’s domestic and international flight operations. He brings over 30 years’ relevant experience to the role including management positions in flight operations at British Airways and Brymon Airways. Most recently, Ian was General Manager for Turboprops at UK low fare regional airline Flybe, responsible for flight operations management of 58 Dash 8 Q400s. Capt. Brian Cozens is newly appointed Head of Training, responsible for all of Gama’s crew training worldwide. Prior to joining Gama Brian held the position of Head of Training at XL Airways and has held flying positions with major airlines including Dan Air, Air India and Sabre Airways.
Gama Group company Avialogistics, the most established business aircraft cleaning company in the UK, has introduced a new restocking service at Farnborough Airport in co-operation with TAG Aviation. Utilising a dedicated, fully stocked vehicle, the company now provides dry stores, beverages and wines delivered direct to an aircraft’s door. Avialogistics’ services in Farnborough are now also available to all visiting and based aircraft to the full extent of the airport opening hours.
Complementing its Farnborough base, Avialogistics has moved to new a new location within London Luton Airport as a result of an expanded cleaning service now being offered at the airport. In addition, it has invested in state of the art equipment at Luton, enabling specialist staff to increase their capabilities for working on the Apron. Avialogistics provides a full range of aircraft cleaning and restocking services (for both fixed wing and rotary aircraft) to base operators and visitors at all of the London airports, with Farnborough, Luton and Biggin Hill being primary bases. Cleaning support is provided to several handling agents, including TAG Aviation, Harrods Aviation, Ocean Sky Jet Centre and Biggin Hill Handling.
TAG Farnborough Airport and London Biggin Hill Airport are both designated 2012 Olympic airports which utilise AIROPS Movement-Exec to run their operations. Airops is in dialogue with many aviation businesses, about their requirements for the expected increase in business aviation around the Games. At BAE this week Airops will run demonstrations of its AME software, designed to reduce the administrative workload involved in running an airport, handling agent or FBO. The integrated software simplifies the business process from booking to invoicing and incorporates functionality offering on-demand or account run invoicing, interfacing with third party applications such as Sage, Microsoft Dynamics, Oracle, Microsoft Excel and IATA compliant handling requests, along with full auditing of requested products and services.