The air concierge

The Tyrolean region is known for its beautiful, mountainous landscapes and the distinct feathered hats that are iconic symbols of Austria. It is also home to Tyrolean Jet Services, a corporate and charter service provider, that will be celebrating its 40th anniversary next year. As CEO Martin Lener notes, there has been significant progress in that time: “There have been many changes in the last year alone, with a lot more businesses looking to use our services. Many clients that started with chartered flights, have since progressed to exclusively owned planes,” he explains.

The group owns mid-size business jets, but offers a management service handling a fleet of approx. 20 planes including Airbus, Gulfstream, Dassault Falcon and Bombardier aircraft. As well as operating from its base in Innsbruck, the company also has subsidiaries in countries such as Malta and San Marino offering corporate travel packages through its Tyrolean Business Travel Agency, part of a strong commitment to customer service that is consistent throughout the business: “Crews are sent out to remote locations and swapped over to keep things operational, there is a lot of demand so it is important to us that this remains in-house. There is also a catering company named ‘Cloud Number 9 Catering’ that operates from both the home-base and also abroad. It is important to adapt to different tastes around the world, always looking to meet the client’s expectation,” he states.

One aspect that arguably gives Tyrolean the edge over its competitors is a 24-hour concierge service. This is something that Martin feels strongly about: “If a client wants a magnificent bunch of flowers or apples from Fuji and water from Fiji, that can be organised almost anywhere in the world. In some cases, it may not be possible to meet a request, so there should be a plan B, but at no point should there be anyone saying ‘No’,” he strongly emphasises. There are of course limits, in the sense that the service does not cover anything illegal or immoral, but it is generally felt that there is an ethos, a positive attitude that goes in tandem with doing the utmost to provide customer satisfaction. For Martin, there is the belief that this extends throughout Tyrolean as a whole: “I am a CEO, but also the head of that service team, I believe this is a good template for an organisation like ours to follow.”

Another important aspect to this approach is safety, something Martin takes very seriously: “There is a SMS (Safety Management System) structure that is fully working in the organisation. This is not just an obligation but something that is followed from the top down, it is paramount across the business,” he details, before going on to further illustrate this with an example: “For example if a client is visiting a country that is potentially dangerous there would be certain conditions such as not travelling at night, secure accommodation would be arranged and the advice would be to not leave the hotel or go to areas that are crowded and full of people. While it is impossible to achieve a goal of 100 per cent safety this is something that Tyrolean strives towards. It is difficult because security risks are always changing so the organisation has to adapt as necessary.”

Companies often talk about growth and generally speaking, the attitude from companies is usually that bigger is always better, and no limits are placed on how big it can get. In Tyrolean’s case, there is a different approach, with Martin keen to ensure that any expansion is balanced with retaining a commitment to effective customer service and client focus: “In some respects if you have a larger fleet it will be more efficient. However, Tyrolean is looking to maintain a family office feel, and the problem with managing a larger amount of aircraft, say around 100 to 300, is that it becomes harder to offer that and the service becomes more generic,” he points out. Indeed, Martin has discussed this issue with clients, many of whom came to the business after using the services of larger operators. “The feedback we received was that the customers were dissatisfied before switching over whereas when coming over to Tyrolean there was the feeling that a better attitude and overall package was being offered, and once a customer uses the service from Tyrolean there is virtually no desire to switch to another operator.”

This attitude is also reflected in the company’s wider commitment to social responsibility, inviting clients to off-set carbon emissions on flights while the group’s mascot and Charity Ambassador Harvey the Bunny often makes an appearance to encourage people on board to donate autographs to Harvey. As Martin explains all of this can be reduced down to three core pillars: “The first is the client, the second is human resources and the third is working in a sustainable way. This is achieved by having the same ownership over the last 40 years. Other operators with similar long histories have recently changed owners, but it is felt in the organisation that this is not the way to maintain a consistent service.”

There is an old saying that ‘a concierge can never say no’. This feeling of dedication toward the needs of clients is something that seems to go beyond numbers and targets, and it is clear from the passionate words of Martin that Tyrolean’s service is anything but generic.

Tyrolean Jet Services
Corporate and VIP charter service provider
Based in Innsbruck, Austria
Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2018