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Flying high | Uma Subramanian, CEO, Aero

Aero is on a mission to redefine air travel – and the company is being piloted by CEO Uma Subramanian

Aero private jet

Aero is a semi-private jet service that connects travellers with coveted leisure destinations, while delivering an impeccable design and service experience.

The company offers premium seating on direct flights between private terminals to destinations including Nice, Geneva and Milan from London, as well as Aspen, Jackson Hole and Los Cabos from Los Angeles.

Aero's use of jets has established the airline as a third option between commercial first class and exclusive-hire private jet travel – it's the perfect middle ground.

And what helps to set Aero apart further is the highly personalised experience delivered by its concierges and lounge hosts.

We caught up with Uma Subramanian, Aero’s CEO, to learn more…

Uma Subramanian, CEO, Aero

Talk us through being CEO of a travel company during a global pandemic

There’s no doubt this has been a difficult time for people - individually and as a travel industry, broadly. However, we have seen an unprecedented boom in the private and semi-private aviation industry, as customer behaviours and booking trends changed during this time.

Safety, privacy and ease-of-experience quickly became key deciding factors in travel – which is exactly what Aero offers. With our contactless check-in, access to private terminals, luggage arrangements and private transfers on the ground, we provide a solution to air travel that is exactly what travellers are looking for.

The pandemic has really illustrated that travel is essential to who we are as human beings, and there is enormous pent up demand for new travel experiences. We continue to see this with traveler demand increasing across all of the routes Aero flies.

What aircraft does Aero offer and what makes them special?

With Aero, we are challenging the conventional air travel product and guest journey. This begins with our jet’s black exterior and continues with the aircraft’s thoughtfully-designed interiors. Aero’s marquee aircraft are EMB-135 Regional Jets and Legacy 600 Business Jets, reconfigured with fewer seats and premium design details, as well as a state-of-the-art lighting and sound system.

We have direct control over the aircraft, being operated by a wholly-owned subsidiary, meaning we have the flexibility to respond quickly to guest feedback, iterate design and curate the perfect guest experience accordingly.

Aero private jet

Tell us about your professional background?

I joined Aero in March 2019. Prior to Aero I was the founding CEO of Voom.Flights, an Airbus company that built the world’s first urban air mobility network using helicopters.

It’s an exciting time for the aviation industry and I’m thrilled to be a part of it, and to work in a sector I am so passionate about. As well as CEO of Aero, I’m also on the advisory board of Volocopter GMBH, which aims to change the aviation industry with its all-electric air taxi proposition, and a venture advisor to UP Partners – a pioneering urban air mobility fund.

When did you first decide you wanted to get into the aerospace industry?

I’ve always been interested in the aerospace industry, which led me to study an undergraduate degree in aerospace engineering at the University of Michigan, before completing an MBA at Harvard Business School. Since then, most of my career has been in the industry, including being part of the space program at Northrop Grumman, in M&A at Rolls-Royce and then Ultra Electronics.

What question are you asked most by customers?

‘When are you flying to ?’ There is a lot of demand from our customers for a radically better air travel experience. At Aero, we introduce routes based directly on where and when we know our guests want to fly with us, so guest feedback is gold to us.

In Europe, our clients have told us they want to go to places like Nice, Ibiza, Mykonos, and Lake Como. In the U.S., customers are clamouring for a seamless travel experience to fly from hubs like the San Francisco Bay Area and visit destinations like Aspen and Los Cabos. We are excited to explore all these routes and more.

Aero private jet

What’s the most common misconception Aero is faced with?

Aero is different from other players in the market. Aero lies in the sweet spot in between first-class commercial and private air travel, which provides all the benefits of private air travel at a more accessible cost and with more flexibility. Many first-time Aero guests are surprised and delighted by the level of service we offer, and therefore how seamless air travel can be!

What’s next for Aero?

We have a lot to look forward to this year. In Europe, we just introduced routes to Nice, Geneva and Milan from Farnborough Airport in Greater London.

This summer, we will re-introduce our popular route Ibiza <> Mykonos among others.

Our guests remain at the heart of everything we do and we always aim to meet customer demand by flying our guests to the most desirable destinations around the world.

We’re continuing to look at ways we can build upon our success in both the US and Europe and grow our network from there.

For more information, see aero.com

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