Sometimes it takes a disaster of grand proportions to find out what really matters, both in life and in business. The global pandemic in 2020 has altered the reality for many aviation professionals, with careers of some of them being pushed in a completely new direction.   Shortly before the outbreak, current Managing Director of A-Aviation, Tobias Auf der Springe, was working as a training captain on long-haul aircraft in the Middle East. He and his family found living abroad much more difficult, as travel restrictions started piling up and salaries were cut as well. After about half a year of living with the impact of COVID-related restrictions, he returned to Germany with a new-found motivation.

Tobias Auf der Springe: “As a pilot, the job opportunities were not the best at that time, but looking at the aviation market, it has become clear that there is still a demand for travel – however, more individual than before. The statistics revealed that there is a chance on the business aviation market and the demand for entry-level jets within Europe could pick up quicker than the major airline business.”

The idea of a new aviation business started growing on Tobias. Eventually, after 4 months of intensive planning a decision was made to found their own air operator organisation. With the birth of A-Aviation and setting up the homebase in Düsseldorf, the time has come to look around for a suitable airplane. It took a couple of months though to find an aircraft that met their requirements. Finally, in January 2021 A-Aviation was able to close the deal and call D-ISTP their first owned Embraer Phenom 100.

 

The first take-off of Phenom 100

Initially, Tobias Auf der Springe and his team planned on a stable monthly flying rate of about 20 hours. They anticipated that they would have to rely on brokers, as at that point the new company could not look at a huge amount of regular customers. In order to make their mark in the business, they had to convince their passengers to fly with them. 

Tobias Auf der Springe: “We are now looking back on the first four months of operation and we are glad to say that we were able to convince our “first-time-business jet passengers” to fly with us again.I would also like to highlight that we do not want to take away the client from the broker. We have a very specialized market with the Phenom 100 within the European continent. Passengers need to have the choice and the possibility to book a larger airplane if they require it. Brokers can provide that full-service. We concentrate on safe and efficient flight operations, which are supported by LEON. We know where our plane, our crews and our partners are.”

During the planning phase, the team of A-Aviation looked at many different aspects to set up their operations as smoothly as possible. They needed a sales-platform, planning-platform and a chance to grant access to other parties, like CAMO and OPS. Hence, Leon has become an important part of A-Aviation’s software ecosystem since its early days.

Tobias Auf der Springe: “LEON was able to provide all that – an intuitive interface that allowed us to start the business in an orderly way. Templates that worked in the past were adapted to provide all necessary details in a professional manner. Currently we can say that everything we do goes through LEON. Crew currencies, sales, staying in touch with brokers. LEON is just right for what we are doing and it gives us the possibility to customize our documents and templates. This saves us a lot of time and keeps up the level of customer service we want to deliver.”

In the end, with a great team on board and a number of software solutions supplying the process, A-Aviation currently delivers an all-round carefree package for their business and private customers that may include anything from individual requests for in-flight catering, the chauffeur service, to an easy pet transportation. 

 

"Currently we can say that everything we do goes through LEON. Crew currencies, sales, staying in touch with brokers. (...) This saves us a lot of time and keeps up the level of customer service we want to deliver.” 

TOBIAS AUF DER SPRINGE, MANAGING DIRECTOR, A-AVIATION

 

What the future holds

While the first four months of operation were very busy for A-Aviation, with many more flights than expected, the future looks bright for a Düsseldorf-based operator.  Instead of looking at the time period of 3-5 years to reach the fleet size of 3 to 5 owned airplanes, Tobias and his team now plan on 2 more Phenom 100 and monitor the market and the demand for a slightly larger option. However, according to him all this needs to be planned properly, with sustainability in mind. 

Tobias Auf der Springe: “It is fantastic to see where the hard work took us and it is even better to see customers returning. A-Aviation is still young and is not in a rush to grow. Business Aviation survived one of the biggest crises and attracted new customers. We would like to grow with our clients and adjust to their demand.”

 


For more information on A-Aviation’s offer, please visit the company’s website https://a-aviation.de/ .

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