Category Archive: Our Customer Stories: Schedaero

  1. GrandView Aviation finds success with Avinode Group

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    Who is GrandView Aviation

    GrandView Aviation is a robust Part 135 operation known for its commitment to safety and passion for customer service. With a fleet of over 23 aircraft based out of 8 cities, GrandView Aviation is poised to accommodate charter customers with their Wyvern Wingman Safety rating.

    Schedaero, a business aviation solution from Avinode Group, began its relationship with GrandView Aviation in 2020(2021) to help them manage their growing fleet more effectively. Schedaero initially assisted GrandView in managing 12 planes and 64 pilots across their organization when they first signed up with the Avinode Group. By the end of 2022, GrandView had expanded its tails and user base managed on Schedaero to 23 individual planes and over 70 pilots operating in different cities nationwide.

    The Situation: Managing expansion, maintaining transparency

    As GrandView increased its number of trips in 2022 to 2,640, a nearly 8% increase since 2021, they had to add additional pilots and planes to maintain FAA compliance and operational efficiency. With locations spanning the nation and multiple time zones, it’s vital for their day-to-day operations to efficiently manage their crews operating in multiple locations across the country. The increase in trips, planes, and crew creates additional items that need to be properly tracked to maintain efficiency and transparency across the organization. With this expansion, the question came of how to maintain clarity, track crew availability, assign flights easily and quickly, and how all of this will affect their bottom line.

    The Solution: Build out and better manage their charter fleet with one streamlined flight operations solution

    GrandView Aviation was able to effectively manage its growth and maintain transparency and FAA compliance by:

    Improving insight and alignment across the company and teams with a single streamlined solution.

    According to Sales Director David Posey, using Schedaero’s open API and ready-made integrations allowed GrandView Aviation to maintain a high-level view of the operation and measure all the important information, not just small pieces spread across multiple platforms while maintaining strategic alignment across the company. The platform also offers a variety of ready-made integrations included in the Schedaero membership. These integrations include but are not limited to Avinode, eAPIS, FlightBridge, Leon Software, Quickbooks, WorldFuel, and much more.

    Connecting quoting, selling, and managing flights with a seamless flow.

    Teams working in the charter industry understand that speed is essential when converting quotes into trips. In 2022, GrandView Aviation generated 22,799 in the Avinode, up 28% from 2021. When you use Schedaero in conjunction with Avinode, you can generate professional quotes in as little as 30 seconds and then update and assign crew to the trip once the quote is accepted with just a few clicks. GrandView converted 11.6% of their Avinode quotes into scheduled trips in 2022, an increase of almost 8% over 2021.

    Maximizing communication from pilots and crew to operators at one of their numerous base locations.

    Crew utilizing the Schedaero Crew App can quickly update duty and flight logs on their IOS device from anywhere. Once updated, operators can view it at any one of their bases of operations. The Crew App is specifically designed to help private charter operators and flight departments communicate information to their pilots and crew in one seamless digital workflow.

    Increase transparency and crew compliance by utilizing built-in safeguards.

    With over 70 pilots to keep track of, automating training and currency items within Schedaero helps GrandView focus on expanding its operations and generating trips. Schedaero allows users to create and assign training and currency to ensure their pilots and crew comply with FAA regulations. Additionally, Schedaero prevents/notifies operators of any potential assignments that exceed duty limits, making it easy to guarantee that your team has sufficient rest between flights.

    Track expenses to know exactly where they stand financially.

    Each trip incurs expenses ranging from pilot and crew expenses to fuel, fees, etc. With nearly 24,000 (23,939) expense items tracked in Schedaero in 2022, up 26.3% from 2021, GrandView Aviation needed a system capable of tracking everything accordingly and syncing with their accounting software, Sage Intacct. Schedaero’s modern expense reporting features allow crew members to easily transmit expenses in real-time to the accounting team via the Crew App.

    Customizing the platform for their individual needs rather than an out-of-the-box approach.

    During an interview with David, he explained that Schedaero was “Nothing short of amazing” when discussing the ability to customize Schedaero for their business. He feels that customization and flexibility are crucial as they don’t feel stuck in a cookie-cutter system that doesn’t suit their individual business needs.

    A smooth integration with all their business essentials

    During their original setup and onboarding, Avinode Group team worked with GrandView to use the Schedaero open API to connect their business essentials, allowing for a more seamless and integrated approach to charter operation.

    “Other platforms I have used in the past aren’t quite the same. One of the biggest things I like about Schedaero and working with the partners from Avinode…When it comes to our Scheduling software, I think the software allows us to not only to continue to do business today but allows to plan for many years into the future. One of my biggest satisfactions is the open API that Avinode and Schedaero provide for us to link up with Salesforce and continue with business and get the reporting that we need.”

    David Posey,
    Director of Sales, GrandView Aviation

    Ready to start improving your charter efficiency with the Avinode Group?

    At Avinode Group, everything our team does is geared towards fixing the finer points of business aviation for you and your customers. Utilizing Avinode, Schedaero and Paynode for your charter operations keeps communication flowing between departments, from quoting to scheduling and collecting payment. Connect with us to learn how Avinode Group solutions can improve your operation.

  2. Aurora Aviation shares how crew scheduling can massively improve the day-to-day lives of others like them

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    Peter, tell me how you got involved in the testing process.

    When I became a Chief Pilot here at Aurora Aviation, some of the team were already using Schedaero, but certainly not to its full potential. I was trying to learn about it and get up to speed, so I attended a couple of online webinars and watched the YouTube videos you guys have on there. They were extremely helpful.

    Questions kept popping up and I was back and forth on those with Sandro (Chiappe) and he was great. Every query I had, he would say, ‘yeah man, that’s a good question. Let me come back to you on that’. He was always quick at responding and explaining things.

    It was during one of our conversations that he asked if I’d mind beta testing the new products because I was giving him a lot of feedback. I said no problem.

    Were you completely new to Schedaero before this?

    Not quite, no. I’ve been a pilot for 20 years and I’ve used Schedaero before on the pilot side for a couple of other companies I worked for, and one company used the Pilot App a little bit. I knew it was a good product.

    How has your team found the new functionality?

    It’s all been incredibly positive. I flew on a trip recently with one of the other pilots. We were going through the Crew App and he seemed to really like it because he was able to record everything easily. I explained to him that once you do this, it’s going to keep your aircraft time, duty time, flight log etc, so you don’t have to worry. It’s no surprise that I’ve had some really good positive feedback from the pilots.

    We also have a new dispatcher, and she has been doing well with it too and really likes it. Being able to add things like hotels has been great for her. She’s really enjoying using it.

    And you’ve been feeding back comments as you go.

    That’s right. I’ve been extremely pleased with the response time of the Schedaero team. It’s been a great experience. It was a little daunting at first for me, to learn everything, but they really helped me along.

    What system were you using previously for crew scheduling?

    I think they were using spreadsheets and the previous Chief Pilot had a free online calendar that he was using. As for the times on the aircraft, the pilots were taking a picture of the FMS, sharing that through a WhatsApp group and someone else had to take the numbers down from the picture and put them into the log book.

    Basically, the whole system was incredibly cumbersome and there was a lot of room for error.

    And what are you most looking forward to the new functionality being able to do?

    I would say helping us go paperless is a big goal. I inherited a system where the pilots were in control of their duty times. At the end of the month they’d have to fill out and submit their duty logs, and I was forever chasing them for this because they’d never turn them in on time.

    Having everything in one system – aircraft availability, maintenance, pilot duty times, their training and when that’s due – that will be so easy and seamless. I think we’re almost there… we’re actually really close. That’s what we most look forward to having.

    I imagine that’ll really improve how efficiently you can operate.

    The new crew scheduling functionality will save us a lot of time and stress, and ultimately money too.

    At the operator’s end, if we miss a training time for a pilot, then we could potentially not have  a pilot that’s current to use on a trip. And for dispatchers, being notified exactly when an airline must come in for maintenance lets them plan around that.

    Having a scheduling system that helps think for us will be invaluable.

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    Are you also interested in accessing our latest crew scheduling features? Watch our webinar to get full coverage, register your details and we will reach out to you. Register here!

  3. This is how National Jets influenced our new crew scheduling features

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    How long have you been a Schedaero customer, Stephane?

    We’ve been using Schedaero for almost a year, and this is our second time around. We previously moved to another system because some areas of Schedaero weren’t quite right for us. But huge changes have been made recently – I mean really significant improvements – and we’re enjoying being part of the process of moving the platform on even further.

    How did you get involved with the testing process?

    Johan (Sjöberg) and the team at Schedaero approached us and asked what it would take to have us back as a customer. It was that simple.

    We sat down and made a list of things we wanted the platform to do for us. Our ultimate goal as a business is to have a paperless system which is approved by our POI and compliant with our operation specification, AO25.

    We discussed what improvements would be needed to do this, and the Schedaero team asked if we wanted to participate in seeing these developments through. We jumped at the chance and it’s been a great experience.

    It must be nice to be asked your opinion on a product you use daily.

    Yes, it is. We’re able to help shape a product that fits us, but we understand that it needs to fit the industry too. That’s why at times we’ve been clear to say, “We wouldn’t use this feature, but we think other operators would so you may want to consider it.”

    And you also know from experience what else is out there.

    That’s true. Having used other similar systems on the market, we’ve seen what they have to offer, and what the opportunities are for Schedaero.

    What’s the biggest improvement to Schedaero you’ve seen since being involved in testing?

    I’d say the App. It has transformed how pilots work because they don’t have to go onto the website anymore. Being able to enter their data via the pilot application is a game-changer for them.

    But there are so many more developments just around the corner. Obviously, the new crew scheduling functionality has been under beta testing and is due to be released. That will also integrate with the App. And when we’re able to go paperless, that will be monumental.

    Throughout testing you must have seen how the Schedaero team balance technology with user experience.

    Absolutely. I think a lot of credit must go to Sandro Chiappe for that, because he’s our voice amongst the tech team. He’s a pilot, so he knows exactly what we need. He listened to us, and really communicated that to the developers.

    So, what’s next, Stephane? I suppose the improvements never stop.

    That’s right. Once we tick off one item, we’re onto the next. We’re currently working on the crew scheduling module and we’ve recently started improving the maintenance integration side of the platform. It’s constant test and evolve, and there are exciting times ahead.

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    Are you also interested in accessing our latest crew scheduling features? Watch our webinar to get full coverage, register your details and we will reach out to you. Register here!

  4. Rising to the challenge in a crisis – one operator’s story

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    We caught up with Andrew Gratton from Svenskt Industriflyg to chat about how his company has created an air bridge to ensure the flow of vital protective medical equipment into Sweden. Andrew also talked honestly about the challenges they and the rest of the industry are currently facing.

    You’re doing an amazing job together with Bactiguard in flying essential medical supplies from Asia for use in Sweden. How did the collaboration come about?

    Well, we already had a relationship with the people at Bactiguard. When a colleague heard about their need to get this medical equipment into Sweden we just said, “Listen, we don’t have cargo planes but what we do have is an ethos where whatever the problem, we’ll solve it”. 

    That culture really comes from the top. We have such strong owners who ensured this was never a financial question. I think Bactiguard really appreciated that because they think the same way. Their CEO was telling us we just had to solve this as there were doctors in hospitals who needed resources during this crisis.

    So, we put the commercial stuff aside and just steamrolled it. We have these pristine aircraft, for catering to another segment, but for humanitarian work we’re just going to do whatever we have to do to get that aid over. And everyone is happy to play their part. For example, we had a customer who had flown to Hong Kong. We called them and explained, “We have this humanitarian scenario, we need to utilize the aircraft in between your flights” and they said, “I don’t even care, do it!”

    And is this a very different kind of challenge to what you’re used to?

    Well, not really. At Svenskt Industriflyg we’ve always been involved with more industrial type business. We started out servicing the forestry industry and supplying logistics for individuals and companies in that sector. That led us to develop several products within our portfolio that cater for government, military and medical customers.

    A few years ago, our CEO challenged us with taking even more social responsibility. He wanted to see us doing work for people who need us the most, which led to us applying for government tenders to fly for hospitals, organ transplantation and the Swedish military. 

    We’ve really grown into this area of what we call ‘Special Missions’, which has taken a huge time and financial investment. Most recently we’ve spent a lot of money adapting our fleet of Falcon 7x jets to accommodate lifeports so we can conduct ultra long-haul ambulance flights. We had to apply to the relevant authorities, have prototypes of special fixings made to test it, and even reconfigure our aircraft to make it happen. We’re the only company in the world to do this so far.

    That must take a really dedicated team.

    Absolutely! People have no idea what it takes to deliver these ‘Special Missions’, which are only possible thanks to the total dedication of our team. We’re so proud of them. We have a single digit percentage staff turnover including pilots who’ve spent their entire career with us.

    The humanitarian aid flights that we’re operating, even on the best days without Coronavirus to contend with, they’re quite a challenge. You can’t just fly medical equipment and dangerous goods as you wish because there are many things to plan for. And our team must now deal with myriad of new legislations and regulations, which are different for each country, state and even city we fly to.

    Take our weekly Bactiguard flights. For that sort of trip there are more than 1,000 parameters to consider each time we fly. That takes an incredible amount of time from the team and they’re delivering every time. They’re remarkable.

    In terms of the current crisis, what trends have you seen as an operator?

    Like everyone in the market, we saw a significant drop off in requests – including an 80% drop in a five-day period. Then the dynamic changed from people being really concerned to governments implementing measures. At that point things swung back, and we were inundated with requests from people who probably didn’t have the means to take on our service but were desperate to repatriate themselves and their families. 

    After that spike it started to drop off massively again. Our light jet fleet diminished to about 10% capacity and our mid-sized jets saw a knock off to 20-30% capacity. 

    But our long-haul jets bucked the trend. While we saw an upswing in repatriation it was often coming from Asian countries and the United States, back to Europe. Then, as those private individual, family and business flights fell away, we were able to replace them with a rapid increase in humanitarian aid and flying for the government, flying hospital personnel etc.

    From talking to others in the industry, what’s the feeling out there?

    We’ve really spoken to a lot of people to understand what’s happening. There’s no getting away from the fact that in this time of uncertainty, clients are equally concerned. The issue we’re all facing is that much of our work is directed towards businesses, business leaders and governments using us as transport. That’s understandably slowing down.

    The sad reality is that there’s a lot of scaling back needed. Aircraft are expensive assets to own and the amount of personnel you need for some of the small margins you make means there are extreme overheads. The banks still need paying so downsizing is inevitable.

    And what does that mean for you?

    We must be real about the times we’re in too. We currently have about 90 staff and we’re looking at how we can scale back some parts of our business and shift some of the team to do other work. But you’re asking a lot of people, to maybe reduce their hours. 

    To be fair, the response from the team has been resounding and they’re committed to doing whatever it takes to get through this.

    The same goes from us all at Avinode. If we can help in any way, just let us know.

    Thank you. One thing I’ve really appreciated throughout this is the data provided by Avinode and Schedaero. The way your systems function helped us spot the trends quickly so we could take proactive measures. That has been incredibly useful.

    Are you contributing in the crisis, or do you have an interesting story to share? Send an e-mail to [email protected].