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Andrea Jilkova

Andrea Jilkova, Director Sales and Marketing, Travion Flight Management.

The Maturation of an Industry: Trip support grows up

use the term 'Industry' here in the loosest possible sense.At best, the trip support segment of the executive aviation market, with the possible exception of some very well-known large corporations operating at major hubs, could be described as a 'cottage industry'.

The very existence of so many small companies was driven by the geographically distributed, fragmented and fundamentally unstructured nature of general aviation, a perfect breeding ground for entrepreneurial individuals to spot and capitalize on an opportunity. And so began the trip support business sector . . .

As we know, in aviation there is nothing quite as consistent as change. The 21st century has brought with it more pressure on operational efficiency and effectiveness, customer satisfaction and engendering loyalty as well as a raft of technological advancements. The ripple effect of these pressures and changes at the operator level has caused parallel initiatives for change in trip support.

Among these are a greater focus on consistency of service delivery, a broader set of offerings, greater attention to customer relationships (trip supporter to operator), better and more timely communication, and of course economies of scale.

The traditional small trip support company is being forced to operate in a much more professional manner. They will need to deploy better, more mature skillsets, more robust and comprehensive processes as well as new product offerings and business relationships to meet customer expectations. Enter the evolution of Flight Management!

Dispatchers are becoming known as Flight Managers - these people are encouraged to have a deeper understanding of their clientís businesses and requirements. Staff are chosen because of customer focussed attitude and their industry experience. Process driven administrators are no longer appropriate for a service intensive offering. Flight Managers take direct responsibility for all requested aspects of a flight; moreover, they maintain constant collaborative communication with the flight operator from inception of a plan to final post flight analysis. Companies that make this transition are now able to offer a truly outsourced flight dispatch service to operators who do not have critical mass or who require additional capacity during peak times.

The quality and maturity of staff is but part of the equation for delivering enterprise class Flight Management. No business evolution today is complete without the application of copious amounts of information technology. Many companies today have created 'Digital Transformation' organizations whose sole purpose is to identify and plan for the introduction of new technologies. The Flight Management business is no different. However, this industry by its very nature is designed to promote order and routine. Innovation put into the hands of 'creative types' without any relevant background would generate only compulsive ideas, omitting the realities of the environment. Here again the maturity and professionalism brought by the new breed of Flight Managers plays an important role in ensuring innovations are pertinent, practical and bring real benefit.

We are at the beginning of a new era of operating and planning private and executive aviation. The pace of change will continue to increase and the companies that embrace that change will thrive, those that donít will become irrelevant.

Travion introduced the Flight Management concept and has focussed on retaining only the most qualified and customer centric aviation specialists. With an emphasis on communication and collaboration brought by new technology they are at the forefront of the Flight Management movement.

Travion Ltd | London Oxford Airport, OX5 1RA, UK
Tel: +44 1865 849 498
BlueSky Business Aviation News | 7th December 2017 | Issue #442


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