Eddie Allison

After more than a decade in the aviation industry, which included leading Glasgow Prestwick airport's successful bid to receive the leaders of the G8 countries for the 2005 summit at Gleneagles, Eddie Allison was identified by Ocean Sky as the ideal figure to launch and lead the company's new Scottish handling operation.

Ocean Sky is a private jet company providing an end-to-end service for leaders in business, politics and stage and screen, and one of the world's largest charter brokerages. The company can co-ordinate all elements of the elite traveller's travel itinerary, from sourcing aircraft for transatlantic trips to booking accommodation and hospitality at their destination. The formal launch of Ocean Sky's Prestwick operation in April 2006 complemented the company's existing hubs in London and East Midlands.

What kind of workforce does Ocean Sky have?

As a company providing a 24/7 service, we train all our staff to be capable of doing every job as much as possible. Much of this work is focused on ground-handling duties, such as refuelling or passenger and crew transport, for aircraft ranging from two-seaters to Boeing 747s. Ocean Sky as a whole employs around 50 personnel, including 11 pilots based at East Midlands airport who fly our Bombardier Challenger fleet.

At Prestwick, we have a mix of young people who are very enthusiastic about the industry and making their first steps, mixed with others who have experience from across the aviation sector. For example, our handling manager, station manager and ground services manager all have around 10 years' industry experience.

What size of fleet does Ocean Sky offer?

When we speak to a prospective client, we can offer them a choice from a database of 9,000 aircraft from our network of partners across Europe. As well as our own fleet of Challengers, we can offer individually-tailored luxury travel aircraft in all sizes, from Bombardier Learjets, Dassault Falcons and Gulfstreams and to an Airbus A319.

Many of our clients work in fast-moving environments where their schedule cannot be dictated by fixed services. Therefore, it is essential we are in a position to offer a flexible and high-quality service, be it for businessmen seeking our services for transatlantic travel, or larger aircraft such as 747s using Prestwick as a fuel stop.

What does the future hold in store for the business jet market and Ocean Sky?

The market is experiencing growth like never before. Security is an increasing concern, which makes a holistic, high-quality service such as the one we provide prove attractive to clients.

We are looking at expanding beyond our three hubs, and are holding discussions with a number of airports, including some based in Europe.

Acquisitions is an area we are also interested in, particularly in the handling market, while we are also looking to expand our fleet of aircraft into double figures.

Opening a maintenance facility is also an option we are exploring. In Scotland, where the air charter market is largely untapped, we're looking to build on the strong performance of our first year.


Source: Flight International