Q&A: Elit’Avia anticipating clients’ needs in a changing Europe

Elit’Avia’s newly appointed UK, Europe and Africa sales director Wynton Faure discusses the private jet company’s personalised service strategy and reveals its unique combination of propositions in the business aviation sector

With a wealth of experience in previous roles at VistaJet and Tag Aircraft Management, Wynton Faure is responsible for promoting Elit’Avia’s services in aircraft management, charter, VIP travel services, tech services and whole aircraft sales. Currently, his particular point of focus is developing the UK market and assisting those clients seeking a seamless transition through Brexit.

As airline passengers in and out of the UK face possible new procedures and restrictions once Britain leaves the European Union, corporate aviation could help smooth away the pain-points for those whose lives and businesses depend on frictionless travel.

Although it is too early to anticipate exactly how Brexit will affect the corporate aviation sector, with air operator’s certificates in Slovenia and Malta, Elit’Avia is confident its unique geographic footprint and service options will ease the journey for its clientele.

What bearing does the UK’s triggering of Article 50 have on Elit’Avia’s business, and could being co-located in Slovenia and Malta be beneficial for customers on both sides of the new “border” due to be imposed in two years’ time?

We expect that our clients will experience minimal, if any, disruption to operations due to Brexit. With a European air operator’s certificate, internal European flights will remain free of cabotage restrictions. Nor will missions to and from the UK be affected. Elit’Avia now becomes very attractive to UK aircraft owners with mission requirements in Europe. Additionally, Maltese registration offers a tax-friendly environment for owners and Slovenia offers operational cost-savings. The only foreseeable impact will be for clients who may take on passengers in the UK and travel to a second in-country destination.

Elit’Avia has a diversified fleet with medium and long-haul range capability. What are the implications of offering these types of aircraft in a changing Europe?

The composition of our fleet reflects the changing nature of our clients’ mission profiles – more transcontinental and overseas missions, fewer shorter in-country missions. Elit’Avia’s fleet composition is a testament to our expertise in managing diverse aircraft types and models.

Do you think there will be a shift in the way UK customers will be inclined to draw on Elit’Avia’s aircraft management propositions as the tectonic plates of Europe shift?

Yes. We believe that UK clients will benefit from our aircraft management services. Overall, we expect UK operators and G-registered aircraft to be disproportionately inconvenienced by Brexit. These circumstances are creating an opportunity and this is why Elit’Avia is expanding its presence in the UK.

Are the forces of digital disruption - app booking, comparative price shopping and so on – having any influence on the way you interact with pre-existing and new customers?

We are always looking to improve client interaction through innovation. But we are also very sensitive to the fact that our clients expect attention to detail and operational efficiency above all. We believe that the challenge is to balance the old and the new. We will not allow our service levels to be “disrupted” by technology, but we do support technology that enhances service.

Turning to the inflight product, passengers expect to have access to high-speed connectivity when they need to be productive in flight. What sort of connectivity throughput for multiple streaming is available on board your fleet?

Most of our 21 aircraft are equipped with the latest in-flight connectivity solutions.

Elit’Avia provides maintenance as part of its offer. Can you elucidate on what types of maintenance and standards you comply with, and do you think requirements will change in the new Europe?

Effectively managing the maintenance of an aircraft is key to a successful operation. Elit’Avia’s Ljubljana base is home to an exceptionally well-educated, talented and multilingual workforce. Since we are able to employ more people and offer a higher ratio of staff to aircraft, we can deliver better service than our competitors. Given our fleet diversity, we support ten different technical types of aircraft and work with five different civil aviation authorities. Because we are level 3 IS-BAO certified, our team aims to exceed standards in airworthiness and aircraft care on all platforms.

How have your customers changed during the last ten years and how do you anticipate their needs will change over the next decade?

Customer preferences and mission profiles have changed significantly in the last decade. In general, the market has become better educated thanks to availability of information online. This can be a double-edged sword because some of that information is inaccurate or incomplete, which can lead to confusion. Elit’Avia’s role is to stay ahead of the game. To serve your clients best, you need to know them – individually. Furthermore, we aim to anticipate clients’ needs to deliver a truly effortless experience.

Even in the executive jet travel sector, there’s a certain level of commoditisation with increasing choices for customers. What are Elit’Avia’s points of difference?

Since the company first opened, the Elit’Avia team has been guided by an enduring commitment to exceed client expectations. Offering an exceptional level of personalised service, client satisfaction is central to our vision. Additionally, we have ten years’ experience and more than 35,000 hours of flight time. Everyone on our team goes above and beyond to ensure client expectations are not only met, but exceeded. Our air operator’s certificates in Slovenia and Malta have served us, and our clients, very well. We are always on the lookout for new opportunities to provide the best possible solutions, provided they are aligned with our philosophy of putting clients first.

For more information please visit www.elitavia.com