An Interview: A Transparent Tomorrow

News — 10.06.19 BY Jill Stockbridge
 

At the Dubai Airshow in 2017, the company launched Click Omega. Founder and CEO Aiham Bader explained the reasoning. “The vision behind Click Omega was to connect all the players – starting from the charter broker, then the operator and then the supplier, in order to help all the companies to generate business. That is the vision of the company – to create business opportunities for the industry.”

We wanted to have all the trips on Omega and the Click Aviation Network, and then we could give access to the charter broker to details of the aircraft eligible and available for charter

Click Omega is a subscription platform with multiple modules. Users subscribe and then utilise what they need. Bader said: “We wanted to make it an open network, where you can see everything. It is part of our drive for transparency. We are still in the initial phase, but we aim to achieve transparency in everything. We change plans sometimes, but the value is still the same – transparency.”

The platform launched, but Bader was not entirely happy with its performance, and realised that they needed further information to offer the product he wanted.

Advertisement
 
Revolution Aero, CharterPad
 

“We faced some difficulties. To have an attractive platform for the charter brokers, you have to have accurate data about the availability of aircraft. The problem is that the operators don’t supply you with all the information about all the trips, so we didn’t have 100 percent access to the availability. It was a problem and we wanted a way to solve this issue. ” he said.

“If I have the aircraft in this location, I know it is there because I provided all the services to that aircraft. However, once we finish and the aircraft leaves, if I am not providing the services in the next destination, then I don’t know where the aircraft now is, and if it is available.”

Rather than have the delays of developing and building further technological solutions, introducing them to the market and waiting, Bader found a readymade solution offered by CharterPad, and negotiated to acquire the company. CharterPad is a US-based company, listing charter operators and aircraft. Bader said: “By having CharterPad and integrating their information with Omega, you have full access to all the availability of the aircraft working with Click Aviation Network, plus the aircraft with CharterPad.”

Advertisement
 

He added: “When you start any business you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve and the route to achieving that. But sometimes an acquisition is a very good solution to acquire a successful concept or technology, rather than creating your own. When you start something you always have the possibility to fail. There is nothing guaranteed. CharterPad started in 2011, it is available in the market, a lot of people are using it, a lot of charter brokers trust it, and a lot of operators are happy to list their aircraft there.”

Bader also felt that the two companies had a similar approach to business and technology.

He explained: “The simplicity of the platform attracted me. I felt that it was something very simple, very useful, almost organic. It is a concept you can describe in one sentence – it connects charter brokers with operators.”

Advertisement
 
 

It is also super transparent – an important factor for Click Aviation and its goals. Bader said: “The team in Click Aviation and the team in CharterPad in the US share the same vision and share the same values – transparency. You have the platform for the people and you have the contact and you tell them now, if you are happy with the availability of this aircraft, or this sector, this is the contact number of the company, you communicate with them and it is up to you. We don’t push to have the communication through the platform.”

“The simplicity of the platform attracted me. I felt that it was something very simple, very useful, almost organic.” ~Aiham Bader

The CharterPad name and company will continue, but customers will now have a wider choice in services. Bader said: “My vision was to provide the operators with the possibility to utilise the Click team, the Click contacts, the Click services, to serve them and their trip. The benefit for the operator is they have access to competitive prices and high quality services. Small operators get the benefits of scale from being part of a larger group.”

Advertisement
 
 

International expansion

The move also gives Click Aviation Network a foothold in the vast US market, an important part of their future international expansion plans. Click has established service stations in Greece, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Pakistan, and the company has just added Shanghai to the list of 14 international offices. Bader explained the difference and how the locations were chosen.

He said: “The offices are in the countries or regions, where we are trying to develop our business. We started recently in Shanghai, as we want to develop the business in China. In many places it is important to have local staff, with local knowledge and contacts.

“The service stations are where there are a good number of flights operating regularly, but without the right sort of support – where we don’t have a suitable trusted provider who can offer high quality service through an FBO. In these cases we decided to have our own service station, with our team and our standards.

Advertisement
 
Armando Antonini CharterPad President, Aiham Bader, Jason Johnson CharterPad CEO and Managing Director Click USA
 

“We want to ensure, for the operators working with Click Aviation Network, that we control the quality. We have no intention to compete with any member of Click Aviation Network – such as those in the FBO business. We are just providing alternative solutions, where there is no FBO. Our first option is always to find a strategic partner and utilise the assets already in the market. We evaluate these FBOs based on the experience and the history we have in our team.”

The current strategic FBO partners provide a network that covers Dubai, Paris, Riga, Seoul, three airports in Jordan and 23 airports across Spain and the Canary Islands. They are chosen for very specific criteria, which fit the Click Aviation Network profile.

“The simplicity of the platform attracted me. I felt that it was something very simple, very useful, almost organic.” ~Aiham Bader

“These people are eager to offer a better and personalised service to clients,” said Bader. “Bigger companies may provide good service, but companies that only have one or two FBOs want to show that they are different in terms of quality and experience.

“We wanted to have this concept as we wanted to have a chain of FBOs in our most important cities. We pick out the good ones based on the experience we have with them. The aim is to build a trusted and reliable FBO network of different, individual brands, where we trust the services based on history. We are looking to continue to grow the network, where it is the right fit, and very soon we will announce a new partnership.”

Advertisement
 

Future technology

The head of a cutting edge, technology-driven company, Bader has stated that artificial intelligence (AI) is the future. We asked where he saw AI making the biggest difference in aviation in the future.

He replied: “The future is AI; the future is the internet of things; and the future is Blockchain cryptocurrencies. Blockchain doesn’t fit everything, but it fits a lot. Some people don’t like to accept Blockchain as it is excludes the intermediary. Some people like having a trusted advisor in that role, but Blockchain is also transparency and trust.

AI is very important for aviation. It doesn’t mean that it will totally replace people, but there are a lot of things that we do, that AI could do. Like in Blockchain, if we have something repeatable it can gain from technology – such as the role of quoting. It is basic and technology can resolve this.

Advertisement
 
Click Aviation Team
 

“However, I also believe in collective intelligence, where it is humans and computers working together. In Click we wanted to build smarter groups of people. And this is what we call the collective intelligence. I believe that a group of people working together will be more intelligent than individual intelligent people. The groups who communicate are intelligent groups.”

He continued: “We have built this model internally and now we are going to implement it on a different scale across Click Aviation Network and Charterpad. By having all the charter brokers, by having the operators and all the suppliers we have created an ecosystem. People communicate, people create and people do business together. Click is human and technology combined for better
business opportunities.”

Advertisement
Advertisement
#ALTITUDESMAGAZINE