Avant-garde spirit

Situated at the high end of the aviation industry, the private and business aviation services segment requires a deep understanding of clients’ needs and an unrivalled attention to detail if a provider is to be successful in this competitive market. The widely-experienced TAG Aviation (TAG) ticks all boxes in this regard, with the company exhibiting vast expertise in aircraft management, charter, maintenance, and FBO handling services, and aircraft acquisitions services.

Having been in the job for just over three months, the newly-appointed Director of Flight Operations (UK & Malta), Pete Beilby, shares his optimism for the positive development the company is undergoing. “Right from the start, it was very easy for me to observe that we have a broad knowledge in a very unique area and that our shareholders provide all the support we need to deliver a very high level of service. It is a real differentiator between us and our competitors that we are capable of delivering a range of bespoke services on a significant scale, drawing from a large pool of experience and resources.”

Pete’s remit within TAG is the aircraft management and operations side of the business, through which the company takes care of private and business jets. Developing turnkey solutions to meet the individual needs of aircraft owners, TAG ensures the latter’s peace of mind by employing its Aircraft Management Programme and the unique Part-NCC solution.

The company’s service proposition in dealing with the new Part-NCC regulation can be viewed as a case study in its own right, revealing TAG’s value-added capabilities. Introduced in August 2016, the regulation binds all owners and operators of privately-operated business jets whose principal place of business or residence is one of the EASA member states. In response to its coming into effect, TAG has crafted an offer that releases the private operator from the complexity and personal liability of the Part-NCC, whilst maintaining the flexibility of the operation.

Under the regulation, owners and non-commercial operators have to set up and maintain an operations manual, including a safety management system; declare their compliance to the regulation to the competent national aviation authority; enrol the aircraft into an organisation managing its continuous airworthiness; and fulfil the training requirements for the crew. By engaging TAG, the owner can delegate its operational responsibility and accountability to the company, which, in turn guarantees that all these requirements are met to the highest possible standard.

Another recent development at the company’s Management and Operations division included its granting of an air operator’s certificate (AOC) from the Transport Malta – Civil Aviation Directorate (TM-CAD), in March 2017. Pete comments: “The level of support and engagement from TM-CAD helps us deliver what the clients want and, perhaps what is more important, provides an attractive option for owners and operators who want to have European-registered aircraft in the wake of Brexit. We also have a UK AOC, but we have noticed that a lot of people are being cautious at the moment, due to the lack of clarity around Brexit. Our aim is to set up an efficient and seamless European model to reassure our clients that we are well-prepared for a number of possible outcomes.

“The Maltese AOC has had a fantastic first two years,” he enthuses. “Our fleet has grown to 11 aircraft and it is a matter of weeks before two more are added. It also bears mentioning that receiving the AOC triggered some significant structural changes, as we decided not to renew our Geneva AOC. Instead, we focused on creating a single management structure across the UK and Malta and we are pleased to say that the existence of one senior management team for both AOCs has made us a lot more efficient.”

In spite of the challenges posed by Brexit, TAG is seeing some encouraging demand for its charter services, too. As new and existing clients continue to express interest in the organisation’s offering, it has taken to fortifying its proposition. This is how the ‘My TAG’ mobile app came about earlier this year.

“The app has been specifically designed to enhance every flight booking experience for charter customers. From initial request through to confirming departure and online payment, its versatile platform helps to ensure that every journey is as seamless and stress-free as possible,” Pete explains.

Further proof that 2019 is one of the busiest years for TAG is the introduction of the company’s new aircraft acquisition service. Bringing into play its experience in the purchasing, management, and maintenance of all aircraft types, TAG is now offering potential and existing clients the opportunity to guide them through the entire process of buying a new aircraft.

Pete discusses: “We can weigh up the different options for our clients, based on their needs and the experience we have gathered in operating various aircraft, which allows us to appraise the strengths and weaknesses of each type. In our acquisition analysis, we factor in any necessary regulatory tasks, operating costs, finance options, and even tax implications to ensure that an aircraft is in line with ownership expectations and budgetary considerations.

“The fact that we can serve a client all the way from their initial idea of purchasing an aircraft through to bringing it into service and then operating it, puts us in a unique position in the market and we are definitely keen to continue applying this model, going forward,” he aspires.

His conclusive remarks emphasise the importance of TAG finalising the implementation of the changes it has introduced. “This will be key, as we retain our client focus and maintain the highest level of customer service. The regulatory landscape is probably going to get more complicated after Brexit, but we have no choice, but to continue delivering our innovative solutions. All in all, I am confident that we will succeed in consolidating our position as a market leader across the UK and Europe in the next five years.”

TAG Aviation
• Delivers private and business aviation services
• Enjoying ongoing success with its Maltese AOC
• Recently introduced aircraft acquisitions service