In less than two decades, UAS International Trip Support has grown into a global business and VIP facilitator, enabling every conceivable aspect of travel from catering to overflight permits.
Its vast, complex array of services, delivered by a multinational workforce, is delivered under the watchful, enthusiastic eye of brothers Mohammed Husary, Co-Owner/Founder and Executive President, and Omar Hosari, Co-Owner/Founder and Chief Executive Officer, who teamed with Mamoun Milli and Mohsen Felo to create the company back in 2000.
Q: Your father’s pioneering role in Middle East aviation inspired you with a lifelong passion for aerospace. Today, 17 years after forming UAS, does that passion still drive the business?
Mr Mohammed: We have a deep-rooted love of aviation, passed down from our father, Hisham. During the 1950s he was involved in the development of Middle Eastern civil aviation infrastructure and his pioneering spirit continued in us, providing the spark that began UAS International Trip Support. We wanted to establish a company that provided flight support to international destinations that had previously been inaccessible.
Mr Omar: Our passion for aviation inspired us to establish UAS International Trip Support in 2000 and it continues to drive us today in our constant effort to improve the user experience. To do that it’s necessary to keep developing our solutions provision so it adds massive value for our clients. I see our passion for aviation and our wish to develop and provide superior solutions as co-dependent.
Q: UAS has a vast international team of suppliers. How is their compliance with UAS’s high standards monitored and assured? How has the business grown to expand into every area of trip planning?
Mr Omar: Our clients need to know that their operation is safe in our hands, and that no element of it will fall short of their expectations. UAS has in excess of 1,400 preferred international vendors creating a global support network that ensures we deliver our commitment to operational excellence and maintain the UAS standard of quality.
We have an exhaustive selection process when it comes to choosing suppliers. It’s based on an evaluation by the stakeholders involved, client feedback, and an internal assessment of quality and service levels. To be a preferred UAS vendor companies must consistently succeed in delivering to the most demanding specifications, the highest quality and utmost cost-effectiveness.
Mr Mohammed: We developed the full suite of trip support solutions in response to the demand from clients, so it was a deliberate process, while at the same time taking a natural course. It’s much more efficient to use one company for all your needs rather than trying to coordinate between many. So, as we grew, we enhanced our solution provision to become a one-stop shop for all aviation needs.
Q: Looking at the UAS website, the words ‘safety’ and ‘security’ appear time and again. Is it fair to say that aviation safety and the safety of your clients at every stage of their UAS-organised trip is a priority?
Mr Omar: Safety and security is central to delivering the client experience that we as a trusted global ITP [integrated transport planning] organisation guarantee. In terms of security services, we can provide close protection personnel quickly and efficiently, secured vehicles equipped with state-of-the-art surveillance, personal bodyguards or full security team services for close protection of diplomats, VVIPs and other key personnel and assets.
We’ve also invested in our station manager network, located in areas where clients benefit from intense supervision, enhancing safety and security. Our station managers’ local experience and insight means they can facilitate the optimal levels of attention and service necessary to ensure our clients and their equipment are safe and secure for the duration of their mission.
Q: Compliance is also exceptionally important to UAS. Do you believe that insisting on the compliance of your suppliers helps you achieve the utmost service, even in regions where aviation infrastructure falls below accepted standards?
Mr Mohammed: We invest a lot of time listening to our clients so we know how best to deliver on their individual requirements, and we know exactly what concerns they have. We go the extra mile to ensure they don’t have to worry about standards slipping, particularly for operations that involve stops in areas lacking well-developed infrastructure or access to services that are commonplace at established stations. We promise our clients the UAS standard of quality, which means they can be assured of getting the very highest quality available at any station. This requires us to be extremely discerning in our choices of supplier.
Q: You support a comprehensive programme of UAS scholarships and internships. Why are these important to you?
Mr Omar: We feel duty-bound to contribute to the future of the industry we love. The best way to ensure its continued growth and prosperity is by enriching the skills and experience of the next generation of aviation professionals. We sponsor several scholarship programmes, including the annual International Operators Scholarships, presented in coordination with the NBAA and the International Operators Conference Committee, which gives several applicants funds and support to develop their education in business aviation.
Our internship programmes give high school and college students the opportunity to work in the service-provider environment, obtaining real-world experience in dispatch, flight operations and customer service. Also, our recent collaboration with Hult International Business School in the US and the UAE – The Dubai Action Project and the Hult Action Project – offered mentoring to students of its accelerated Master’s Program at Hult International Business School in Dubai and New York.
Q: Your charity and Orbis work are also important. Why?
Mr Mohammed: Just as we’re committed to the future of business aviation, we also feel an obligation to contribute to the wider community. Orbis does incredible sight-saving work in some of the world’s most underdeveloped countries, transporting eye surgeons and medical professional in its ‘flying hospital’. The combination of its charity work and reliance on aviation as a tool made Orbis a natural choice for us as a charity partner.
Q: Are your extensive Trip Support Services managed out of each headquarters office and how do the regional offices, station managers and representatives fit into the system? Can UAS really arrange flights, to its high standards, to any destination?
Mr Mohammed: When we say we can get you to any station, it’s because we can! We arrange for any further transport you need from the airport too. This is where our investment in local knowledge and expertise is vital to our success. We’ve four strategically placed continental operations teams in Houston, Hong Kong, Johannesburg and Dubai, taking care of global operations – they support our regional offices in Beijing, covering Greater China; Nairobi, covering East Africa; Lagos, covering Central and West Africa; and New Delhi, covering the Indian Subcontinent.
The UAS station manager network ensures the highest level of supervision and quality assurance at key global locations. UAS station managers know the aviation possibilities in their area inside out. They have a thorough understanding of the regulations, know the best people to contact to make things happen quickly and can be on the ground to make sure the operation is executed smoothly. This is why our station managers are so crucial to our operational success and represent an offering that no other ITP can claim. Our clients rely on our global team and station managers for reliable, up-to-date NOTAMS, air traffic news and updates, regulatory requirements and local operational guidance that can affect the success of their mission.
Q: Elsewhere in this issue there’s a discussion of aviation weather and the connected cockpit. UAS is also a player in weather provision – how is your data compiled and presented?
Mr Omar: We use only licenced and trusted sources for weather data that are fully updated at a minimum of every six hours, 365 days a year, to ensure the very latest global weather information is available. It can be presented and tailored to whatever format is most beneficial to our clients. For example, we can provide weather analysis from origin airport, en route, and destination, including various types of weather chart, and current and forecast weather information at airports along the route being operated.
Mr Mohammed: There are various means of delivering weather data into the cockpit, but it largely comes down to aircraft and cockpit capabilities. Via UAS FlightEvolution – our recently launched flight planning and weather technology – we offer an industry first by offering weather data that can be accessed while the pilot is offline and has no internet connectivity. UAS FlightEvolution automatically downloads 48 hours’ worth of weather data when it’s online, storing it in the client’s FlightEvolution database, ready for pilot access at any time. When the tool is reconnected with WiFi, the weather data is fully refreshed automatically.
We also offer pilots ACARS text weather data upload via datalink. And we provide weather charts and data from a dedicated portal that pilots access from their iPad or EFB when they have WiFi connectivity. And of course, we can send weather information as conventional pdf or Word attachments to any email account the client nominates.
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