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December 2017
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Carmen Chan talks about her current projects

A day in the life: In the A-Z of broker skills, S is for salad

For Asian Sky Group business operations manager Carmen Chan no two days are alike, and no two requests are alike either. Her clients are based all over the world so she has to be available around the clock and today the early morning start in the office finds her reading through the email inbox.

She is currently working on two big projects: the first involves bringing a European sports team to Asia to play an exhibition game; for the second she is working with a celebrity on his business air travel needs. Most of her correspondence addresses these two pressing client requirements as the trip dates are very close.

Bringing the footballers over is no easy feat. The team comprises more than 100 passengers so she books a BBJ and a Gulfstream 550 for the managers and players, and an A330 for the rest of the team. But they are flying into a notoriously congested airport where special landing permits are required for large aircraft, and because of the celebrity status of the players Chan also has to speak to her contacts at both the local and airport police departments to arrange for maximum security.

Typically, passengers flying privately can access an FBO, however here the FBO can only support up to 30 passengers. Instead she will have the team enter through the international terminal and she arranges for special lanes to be set up to get them through quickly. Although most of the team has already been granted entry visas there are a few who are still having difficulties. She helps with this, and also speaks with a local transportation supplier to move the team from the airport to the hotel.

Her next few emails are from an Asia-based celebrity with whom she has worked many times before. On this occasion he is travelling to Europe with his production team for an upcoming movie project and they are taking a lot of camera equipment with them. Her main concern is to find an aircraft suitable for the number of passengers and the volume of equipment. To manage both passengers and the cargo capacity she proposes a BBJ, and since they need speedy entry and exit at the designated airport she makes early arrangements for customs clearance at the destination. The celebrity also puts forward a special request regarding cuisine. He is a vegetarian and has asked for a specific salad, with special ingredients from France. She contacts a local chef who has helped her before.

Chan is also starting to coordinate a future holiday excursion for a group of VIPs. It's in the early stages but will include an island getaway in Malaysia. The week-long journey requires organising aircraft, hotels and an agenda of activities and Chan is making the initial enquiries. But for now her working day is coming to an end, although the emails are still coming in. The other side of the world is waking up and her charter clients expect immediate answers. “And I'm happy to help,” she says.