Vertis Aviation makes sparkles at first Sapphire Pegasus Awards

Erica award

Vertis Aviation went on a winning streak at the inaugural Sapphire Pegasus Business Aviation Awards presented in Prague on Friday 8th April. Erica Da Veiga, founder and partner of Vertis Aviation, was presented with the Women in Aviation prize marking her outstanding contribution to developing two of the industries most successful independent companies, aircraft brokerage 28 East and ultra-long range charter specialist Vertis Aviation. Vertis Aviation also won the Innovation in Business Aviation category.

Erica’s career in aviation began in 1997 when she joined Jet Aviation before moving to Pilatus in Switzerland where she used her persistence and determination to be taken seriously in what was clearly a male dominated environment. She proved to herself and others that she could manage, despite the determination of tricky clients to initially focus on her youth and the fact that she was not a male. She wanted to run her own business and she had the opportunity in 2009 she moved to Glaronia Aviation, from Comlux Aviation where she’d been heading up charter sales, as a Partner and Managing Director responsible for operations. In 2010 she launched Vertis Aviation with her partners Luca Madone and Jeffrey Emmenis.

She says she has always fitted into the male dominated world of aviation by demonstrating she has the same skills, talent, tenacity and attributes to run the business. “Sometimes I think you have to try a little harder but if you earn the respect of your male colleagues you can achieve as much as the next person. (I think if you work hard, whether you are a woman or man, and earn the respect from your colleagues, you achieve as much as each other – something along those lines I love the industry and am thrilled to have been nominated for, and then received this award,” she said of the win. “It makes all the hard work worthwhile.”

Vertis Aviation’s focus on providing an independent outsourced sales department for its partner operators grabbed the judge’s attention to win the Innovation in Business Aviation category. The business model, which has seen rapid growth for the company, ensures operators can concentrate on their core business of providing superior aircraft management services, whilst Vertis focuses on supporting their charter business. It also created its own customer service management software that supports the company’s “You can call us anytime” philosophy. This boutique approach to chartering long range aircraft has gone on to create a global business which in just six years has gone from a team of three partners and one employee with a single aircraft to market from a single office to a business with a team of sixteen, sitting in four international offices marketing fifteen aircraft. It has changed the way operators think about marketing long-range aircraft, and ensured customers are treated as individuals with their own independent requirements taken care of. “We like to think that we have opened a market for the smaller operators that manage long range aircraft, and that we have handled a passenger request before they even know they need something,” says Veiga about their unique approach, “this knowledge of passenger requirements supports the operating of the aircraft. The combination provides a seamless experience for all concerned. We’re a bit like swans, it all looks very calm on top but we are paddling like crazy beneath the surface.”

The awards have been designed to recognise and honour outstanding performances by companies and individuals in many aspects of Business Aviation and presented twelve accolades in total.

Vertis Aviation currently markets four Airbus A319 ACJ’s, a Boeing Business Jet BBJ1, Gulfstream G450, G550 and G650, a Boeing 727-VIP, Bombardier Global 6000, Bombardier Challenger 604, Bombardier Global XRS and two Global Express, Dassault Falcon 7X, Bombardier Learjet 45.