Above and Beyond
SaxonAir has been exceeding customer expectations in the aviation industry for a decade now, as its ever-broadening array of aircraft and chartering services bring luxury and efficiency to businesses, private clients and offshore oil & gas giants alike
Project Manager:Josh Hyland
SaxonAir has been offering the optimum in private air travel for the past 10 years and is celebrating its monumental anniversary through the reemphasis on a vision which will see the Company soar to new heights in the years to come.
Initially established as an aircraft operator and charterer, the business has diversified in line with acquisitions and organic growth into adjacent aviation services, as well as aircraft management and operating, and later aviation logistics support and offshore facilitation.
“It’s been an exciting journey and the Company hasn’t looked back since,” enthuses Group Commercial Director, Chris Mace. “Growth has been a fundamental element to our success, including in 2011 when we built the multi-million pound Business Aviation Centre and hangar facility in Norwich, which we now use as a UK HQ base (although the majority of the aircraft fleet are based from SaxonAir locations around London, including Luton, Stansted and Denham Airports).”
SaxonAir operates under the umbrella of the Klyne Aviation Group and is comprised of four divisions: SaxonAir Charter, SaxonAir Flight Support, SaxonAir Helicopters, and SaxonAir Aircraft Sales. And engulfed into these ever-diversifying and expanding remits is a host of services primarily centred on private and business aviation.
Jets and helicopter chartering; group travel charters; aircraft management; aircraft sales; flight support; pleasure flying; offshore flight logistics; hangar, office and workshop space rentals; and aviation centre facility hire are all contributors to the SaxonAir success story in 2017 - and they have taken the Company to every continent in the world and to the doorsteps of numerous high profile clients.
“SaxonAir’s existing tenants include CHC and NHV, both based-operators who work internationally serving the industry,” Mace explains. “Significant multi-national organisation, Oranje-Nassau Energie has also made this their UK headquarters and this exciting collection of tenants places SaxonAir at the heart of the energy industry in the East of England.”
SaxonAir Charter holds a European Air Operators Certificate allowing the business to own, manage and operate a mixed fleet of aircraft, while SaxonAir Helicopters has attained the same certification to ensure the ultimate in “door-to-door travel”.
Mace continues: “Chartering your own aircraft offers you complete flexibility and control over your schedule. You control when, where and with whom you wish to fly. There are no check-in queues, connections, baggage handling or delays and more importantly, you save money that would have been spent on additional travel or hotel expenses.
“Whether for business or pleasure, private air charter offers true value when it really matters.”
Exceeding customers’ expectations
The result of SaxonAir’s continuous strive for growth has been the award of Best Private Jet Service at the National Luxury & Lifestyle Awards, as well as recently being named the Best Air Charter Operator 2017 by the UK’s Transport News.
“We are quite unique in the air charter industry, in offering both jet and helicopter charter services,” Mace elaborates. “We can therefore offer our clients the most convenient and fastest method of transport possible from all aspects.”
To achieve such prominence in a niche market, the business places great importance on staff to ensure that codes of conduct, as well as best practices are being instilled on a continuous basis.
“With this, each person understands the philosophies of the business, ensuring that these present themselves in every area of the business as we look to exceed our customers’ expectations.
“We have then looked to expand our fleet based on what our clients want, need and will benefit from,” Mace adds from a continuous improvement perspective. “Our aim is to give our private air charter clients more time; whether that be for business, family, or pleasure.”
A large proportion of the Company’s contracts are ad-hoc arrangements that rely upon clients’ need to travel, and the flexibility that is therefore required on an internal scale is paramount.
That being said, this also has to be balanced out by a professionalism and consistency that comes with working alongside key business organisations and sectors such as offshore oil & gas clients; processing the handling of passengers and freight to platforms in the southern North Sea.
“These contracts are with both helicopter operators and the end oil & gas operators such as Shell and Oranje-Nassau Energie,” Mace notes. “Other key contracts include in 2010 when SaxonAir won a 10-year contract to provide ground handling services for all non-scheduled or based aircraft operating into Norwich Airport.
“The services cover a wide range of aircraft from pilot training flights to international heavy jets through to military jets and helicopters. Services include VIP passenger handling, fuelling, catering, ground and air transport, flight planning, hangarage and airport coordination.”
The Company also holds contracts composed of managing and leasing aircraft as part of its aircraft management services; and to facilitate this ever-broadening scale of provision, numerous internal investments have also been made in recent times.
A multi-million Euro new generation helicopter has been added to its charter repertoire, adding speed, comfort and performance to its selling proposition, representing perhaps the most impressive and significant outlay to this end.
“Benefiting from excellent soundproofing, passengers enjoy an extremely quiet and comfortable flight. Wide sliding doors and an automatic retractable step provides seamless, easy access, whilst the extended baggage compartment provides high capacity for clients’ personal luggage.
“It is undeniably easy to see how the Grand New helicopter range is unrivalled by anything yet on the market,” Mace affirms.
By fostering an ethos of flexibility and fleet prominence, the Company is able to react more efficiently and successfully to any changing industry trends or indeed consumer trends. Of late, this inevitably includes promoting the appeal of efficiency that SaxonAir’s services can bring organisations.
“This is in line with business aviation associations in a drive to realise that air charter is not a purely leisure and luxury based industry, but plays an important in the country’s and wider European economy,” Mace explains. “Aviation is all about enabling efficiency in transportation and business aviation reduces both travel times and travel burdens, allowing users to complete their travel objectives more quickly, securely, and smoothly.
“Business aviation may also reduce cost compared to commercial aviation, especially in cases where many executives are travelling on first class or business class tickets. For business and employee travel, business aviation leads to increased business efficiency, which leads to the flow of millions of euros annually into the European economy.”
The family-run nature of the Company further compounds this aforementioned agility and personability; something which is stringently instilled into each new member of staff as they are encouraged to embrace the missions and values that have proved so successful over the first 10 years of SaxonAir’s journey.
“No day is ever the same at SaxonAir and we thrive on the challenge and rewards that this gives our company and staff,” Mace concludes. “Each week we are dealing with many hundreds of passengers, and our long-term strategy for them is to continue growing our range of aviation supply services and to continue to build on our excellent reputation.
“Our mission, vision and values require all of our team to understand the true meaning of the company culture in order to deliver a service that enhances the business and allows clients to realise everything that aviation has to offer.
“With staff and suppliers realising our mission, it ensures that we are driven as a team to deliver and develop the business with matching goals, to exceed our ambitions, and to create a long and lasting future.”