Sky-High Commitment to Aviation Excellence
Writer: Emily Jarvis
Project Manager: Kane Weller
The gradual evolution of Omni Aviation Group can be measured in both its ability to keep up-to-date with the latest industry trends and the continuous drive to invest in new international markets. Consolidating its technical knowledge and experience over the past 28 years since establishment in the late 1980s, the Group has become a multifaceted operator active in various global markets with knowhow spread across almost all areas of aviation.
Comprising helicopter operation, emergency medical services, maintenance, training, handling, consulting, and private and commercial aviation via its three airlines – White Airways, Omni Aviação e Tecnologia and Cabo Verde Express – the Group has shown the capacity to successfully respond to wider aviation challenges and answer the chief needs of its clients through smart investment decisions based on market developments.
“As a Group, it is important that we offer a wide range of services and flexible solutions tailored to the needs and expectations of our clients, wherever they may be. In light of this, we are looking to expand our fleet by roughly 30 percent over the next two years, which will increase our ability to address new challenges that the market might impose. Elsewhere, we are seeking significant investments in our flight training school and in our FBO lounges, focusing on internalisation of the services we provide in the medium-term,” summarises Luís Pinto, Chief Financial and Business Development Officer.
Omni Aviation was the pioneer in Portugal to start a 24-seven air ambulance operation for the Portuguese Health Ministry, operating two helicopters from 1997 to 2005.
From 2010 to 2014, the Company was the fixed-wing air ambulance provider out of Lagos, Nigeria and Abu-Dhabi, UAE for International SOS, the world’s leading provider of medical assistance, international healthcare, security services and outsourced customer care.
“For four years, Omni’s two dedicated Bombardier Learjet 45 air ambulance aircraft, based at Al Bateen and Lagos, performed more than 5,000 flight hours and more than 3,000 departures from African, Middle Eastern, Asian and Eastern countries with a 24-seven readiness in straight cooperation with International SOS to give the patients a highly professional and fast medical evacuation,” explains Pinto.
With a staff complement of more than 1,000 employees who uphold the Group values of quality, safety and effective customer service, Omni Aviation is hopeful that its proactive and resilient approach to business will continue to bolster client confidence and maintain relationships for the foreseeable future.
“This is precisely the great determining factor that differentiates the Omni Group; supported by a multidisciplinary capacity that we can draw upon to stand out from the crowd and add value for our clients,” he adds.
Continuous improvement actions
Initially a small helicopter Company dedicated to aerial work, the Company has expanded its scope of action into other activities to respond to significant industry growth and the need to specialise to remain competitive.
“For example, the significant growth of the helicopter business in Brazil encouraged the creation of OHI (Omni Helicopters International), a new Company in which Omni is a shareholder, and where the helicopter business is concentrated,” Pinto says.
Experiencing a steady growth, supported by the creation and vertical integration of its newest international entities and simultaneous geographic expansion, Omni Group has become a leading operator across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In turn, Omni Handling is the leading executive ground handling Company in Portugal with a market share of more than 50 percent, providing high value-added professional services at all major airports throughout Portugal and Cape Verde.
He further explains: “We have the ability to perform different services and to give support in different areas and this would not be possible without a set of continuous improvement actions, namely the high level of commitment to staff training, permanent adaptation to the market challenges and aptitude for innovation. These are the main pillars of our strategy that have led us to the improvement of productivity, increased efficiency, staff motivation and growth of sales through entry into new markets.”
Supported by Aeromec, responsible for the fleet, base and line maintenance across the entire Group, Omni Aviation’s fleet of more than 20 aircraft is extremely versatile and adaptable to meet the requirements of its clients. Representing a significant portion of its business is the Company’s business jets, which includes a modern fleet of Airbus ACJ319, Bombardier and Dassault Falcon Aircraft in VIP configuration; seating anywhere between six and 48 passengers. “In the operation of commercial aircraft on a regular charter basis, wet lease or ACMI, we operate Airbus A320, Boeing 777/737 and ATR 72,” Pinto adds.
Based in Lisbon, Omni Aviation Group boasts a network of trained professionals – the majority of whom are multilingual – on-hand 24-seven to address not only the need for air transport, but to provide services ranging from handling to flight training.
By providing employees with the most appropriate internal communication channels, essential training and conditions for career development including a reward programme, Omni Aviation has ensured that all internal support structures are in place for better retention.
“For us, human resources management and communication skills must be brought together for strategic advantage,” Pinto highlights. “We believe that the effectiveness of internal communication directly impacts commitment, satisfaction and retention. Essentially, if our employees are happy, then we will have satisfied customers. We gain value from building and nourishing employee relations, to establishing trust, providing timely and reliable information and thereby contributing to general motivation, particularly in times of change and stress.”
Spearheading this dedication to the Group’s staff is the Omni Aviation Training Centre (OATC), a flight school that provides various courses in aviation; such as flight instructor, pilot and type qualifications, flight dispatchers, cabin crew training and more.
Over the years, the school has trained more than 450 pilots, flown more than 60,000 accident-free hours, given more than 45,000 hours of formal theoretical lessons and hundreds of hours of briefings and debriefings. So far, OATC has also trained more than 4,000 cabin crew members in both initial and recurrent courses.
“Most of these aeronautical professionals are now working with national and international airlines, some of which remain integrated in the Group. This translates into the recognition of the quality of our flight school training,” emphasises Pinto. “Contributing to the formation of a new generation of professionals in the aviation industry is already a source of pride, but seeing them integrate within renowned airlines further reinforces the pride we have in our flight school.”
Driven by its international growth strategy and unwavering commitment to continuous internal improvement, Omni Aviation is confident that its plans for fleet expansion in pre-defined regions will be achieved over the next two years. “For this to happen, it is very important that we continue to work with the same level of commitment and accuracy to continue to be a point of reference in the aviation market,” Pinto concludes. “The Group is defined by our inherent values of proper conduct and the relationship which we maintain with our customers. More specifically, this includes safety in all the operations we propose, quality in the services we provide, and a service tailored to the needs and requests of each client.
“It is based on these pillars that the Omni Aviation Group offers a flexible and personalised service, responding to the requirements of each customer quickly and effectively in all segments in which the Group operates.”