For 60 years, our team of aviation professionals have gone above and beyond to create bespoke charter experiences. Whether you are travelling for business or leisure, our experts are always on hand 24/7 to assist with all your charter requirements. Meet some of the people delivering extraordinary flight experiences.
In this article, we are delighted to highlight Claudia Watt, Senior Business Development Manager at Air Partner. Claudia has worked in the aviation industry since 2014 and joined Air Partner a year ago bringing with her a wealth of knowledge and expertise which proved unparalleled during the unprecedented times the aviation industry faced due to the coronavirus outbreak. We asked Claudia to tell us more about her time working in aviation and Air Partner, what challenges the last year has meant for charter broking and share her advice for anyone looking to charter for the first time.
Q. What do you enjoy most about working as a private jet broker?
A. I love working with first-time charterers. Being able to hold their hand through the process, from start to finish, and educating them about the marketplace is extremely rewarding. For those looking to charter for the first time, it can be overwhelming, but as their dedicated Account Manager I am able to guide them through every step of the journey. Being a charter broker is so much more than arranging a private jet flight, it’s about being there for your clients when they need you, and I love the relationships and friendships I now have with some of my clients.
Q. What is your most memorable charter to date?
A. Every charter is unique, and no day is the same, which is what makes this job so rewarding. One of the most memorable charters I’ve arranged was a medivac flight for a client in Africa. It was challenging because we were in a very time-sensitive situation. Given the location, we had to organise last-minute permits as quickly as possible, as the patient’s health was deteriorating rapidly. Working with our experience and extensive network we were able to obtain the permits required in record time and successfully evacuated the patient to get the urgent medical care they needed.
Q. What challenges has the coronavirus pandemic meant for charter broking?
A. The constant changes have been one of the most challenging factors. Whether it's countries banning international flights, the introduction of PCR tests, mutant strains, the aviation industry has had to adapt quickly to ongoing changes throughout the pandemic. What would normally be a relatively simple process is now multi-faceted and complicated to organise. Dealing with these ongoing challenges has made successful flights all the more rewarding.
Q. What advice would you give to anyone looking to charter for the first time?
A. Book with someone you trust. All brokers have access to the same marketplace, so it’s important to deal with someone that has your best interests at heart and will work hard for you. Booking with a larger company has its benefits too. Flexibility when we travel has been key during the pandemic, and by booking with a larger company, with better buying power, also gives added benefits such as access to more favourable cancellations terms, which is essential during these uncertain times.
Q. If you chartered a jet, where would you fly to and why?
A. One of the many benefits flying privately offers is being able to get closer to your destination. If I could choose to charter a jet anywhere, I’m choosing a mountain airport every time. Chambery would be my choice. It’s ideal for accessing the ski resorts in the French Alps and means that I can avoid a long transfer up the mountain!
Q. What is your favourite aircraft and why?
A. Private travel for me is all about convenience. Knowing I can be at my destination that much quicker than if I were to travel commercially is one of the greatest advantages when choosing to travel via private jet charter. My favourite aircraft is the Cessna Citation X. This jet is often well priced and is the fastest jet in the market.