Delivering seamless global service
Published: 12 Feb 2018
Chris Watson heads Luxaviation Group’s broker desk – a company-wide charter sales office dedicated to serving the market by providing customers with efficient access to extensive fleet of business aircraft.
What sparked your interest in aviation?
My interest in aviation has stood for as long as I can remember: from having a child’s keenness for aeroplanes, right up to today. I studied for a diploma in aircraft engineering and maintenance, before securing my first job in aviation and moving into the operations side of the industry upon graduation. I like to stay as up-to-date as I possibly can on industry news, and I do read a lot; I find this especially useful as a private pilot licence holder, which I secured in Florida in 2004. I don’t get the chance to fly as much as I’d like to, but it is something I truly love doing.
Tell us about your career?
Prior to my current role with the Luxaviation Group, I spent almost 12 years with Luxaviation UK (formerly London Executive Aviation); firstly as operations controller and then as commercial manager. The latter role saw me working hard to ensure that Luxaviation UK’s aircraft were flying as much as possible. The role was all about juggling schedules, maximising efficiency and ensuring there were as few empty leg flights as possible. Before moving to LEA in 2005, I spent five years at London City airport in the airfield operations department.
What do you do in your current role?
As head of the group’s broker desk, I am responsible for Luxaviation’s global charter sales departments, dedicated to serving brokers and providing customers with access to the group’s charter fleet. We have offices in the UK, Hong Kong, Miami and Moscow. The function of the department is to make Luxaviation’s worldwide broker service more manageable, as global operations are controlled from centralised locations. Efficiency has been significantly increased as the new department dedicates itself entirely to supporting brokers, freeing up staff to concentrate on other areas of the business. The broker desk gives brokers one contact where they have access to all of the group’s aircraft available for charter. My typical day-to-day roles include updating my team with group activities, news and issues; plenty of telephone correspondence with the various aircraft operator’s certificate charter managers; drafting and putting together charter quotes; meeting brokers in order to build on existing relationships and to form new ones; feeding back to the chief commercial officer in Luxembourg; and much more.
How is the charter market fairing in the current climate?
The charter market is currently very steady, and at Luxaviation we are typically working on 6,000 quotes per month. Naturally, given the cloud of political uncertainly that surrounds us at the moment in Europe, it is unclear what lies around the corner; but it is in everyone’s interest to maintain a strong business aviation industry. As of now, the charter market is doing very well and we look forward to this continuing.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I really enjoy getting to meet different people. Whether it’s clients, charter operators, handling agents, airport managers, aircraft manufacturers or even caterers, the diverse characters that make up the aviation industry are fascinating. I also really enjoy networking, which is a key business component and, as a charter broker, it is essential that you have the ability and the contacts to be able to not only impress prospective clients, but also to look after your existing ones. I really enjoy being a part of the Luxaviation Group, a leading player in the global business aviation market, and am proud of the various relationships I’ve made around the world.