2017 marks Adagold Aviation’s 25th anniversary and boy has it been a long haul flight! And one that we have enjoyed every moment of. To celebrate this quarter of a century milestone, we wanted to look back on our achievements, challenges and favourite memories from the last 25 years. From transporting high profile celebs (ever heard of MJ?) to providing humanitarian support, Adagold has almost seen it all. We take a look at how our various experiences have shaped the company today, and what’s in store for the future.
Not just another number.
Adagold Aviation was founded in 1992 by Mark Clark, Adagold’s current Managing Director and Chairman. From the very beginning, Mark’s vision was to focus on creating and maintaining personal relationships with clients. He didn’t want Adagold’s customers to “feel like just another number,” which often happens when dealing with big corporations. Specialised service has been the backbone of Adagold since day dot, and is still something that we pride ourselves on today.
The big break.
Adagold’s ‘big break’ happened when we landed our first job with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet in 1995. We frequently couriered (and still do!) ministers and senior public servants across Australia. We were named as the ‘exclusive’ contractor to PM&C from 2002 to 2007 for the provision of charter services. Our services for the Australian Government have only grown since then, and we now enjoy organising both domestic and international flights for various members of parliament and visiting foreign dignitaries.
When it comes to passengers, we’ve had them all, explains Adagold Director and General Manager of Charter Operations, Simon Llewellyn. “We’ve moved celebrities, sporting teams, executives, politicians, presidents and prime ministers. We’ve also flown pets on jets, Ronald McDonald, and even the Pope (but not at the same time).” Transporting big-name celebrities, in particular, has been both challenging and thrilling. From Michael Jackson to Whoopie Goldberg, the Royal Family to various heads of state, there have been many strange requirements. We can report that MJ required thousands of white lilies to feel at home and personalised meals for every member of his crew, while Whoopie was just in for a friendly chat and Keanu Reeves liked to play chess.
More than just celebrity charter: our participation in Humanitarian Aid.
Celebrity charter may seem like the more glamorous side of Adagold, but while our contributions to humanitarian aid initiatives aren’t as glitzy, they’re just as important. Adagold has been a proud supplier to the Australian Defence Force for many years, and have assisted them with various peacekeeping and humanitarian expeditions. We were one of the first points of call for charter after the devastating 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami. We’ve also provided passenger and cargo charter services to the ADF for the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands, and the Australian peacekeeping mission in East Timor. Supporting the troops is very important to us, and we frequently donate to Mates 4 Mates, an organisation that supports current and ex-serving Australian Defence Force members (and their families) who are wounded, injured or ill as a result of their service.
Reaching international heights.
Over the past 25 years, Adagold’s relationship with international clients has grown significantly. In 2009, Adagold was awarded a four year Air Sustainment contract with Danish Defence Acquisition and Logistic Organisation (“DDF”). We provided both Cargo and Passenger services between Denmark and Afghanistan in support of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). During this time Adagold held one of the largest contract/trade agreements between any Australian company and Denmark! Since then we have worked with the US, China, UK, Spain, Sweden, Finland, Canada, France and Norway, to name a few!
It hasn’t all been clear skies and rainbows, however. Here at Adagold, we’ve navigated our fair share of challenges and weathered a few tricky situations! Our commitment to personalised service has meant that we frequently need to accommodate last minute bookings and changes. We also often find it challenging to get our hands on the best aircraft in the Pacific region for every charter. The solution? We once brought in an airbus from Europe to fulfil a client’s requirements! It just goes to show that our entire staff are passionate about meeting customer needs. As Simon says, “Adagold Aviation has had many successful examples of identifying and delivering unique aircraft solutions where the existing market is unable to meet demand.”
So what’s on the horizon for Adagold; what do the next 25 years have in store? Adagold is consistently looking to develop ideas in niche business areas. Adagold Luxe launched just this year and is definitely at the forefront of this ideology, fast-tracked to become Australia’s leading luxury travel provider with our unique Jet-Centric experiences. Managing Director Mark Clark says he’s also looking forward to expanding into the Global Defence Arena. Mark is a huge advocate of disruptive technology and insists that “the key is integrating technology, innovation and strategic thinking.” From its humble inception, Adagold was destined for great things, and we hope to see many more innovative business ventures in the years to come.
Thank you to our team, directors, mentors and clients for helping us achieve this incredible milestone.