Jet charter firm Victor has added two co-CEOS to its management team with the appointments of longstanding employees James Farley and Toby Edwards, as former CEO Clive Jackson becomes executive chairman.
Victor’s co-CEOs confirmed they will continue to build on the company’s climate action legacy. Since July last year, every Victor flight is mandated to fly on its 200% carbon offset programme. By the end of 2020, the company is forecast to have offset more than 62,000t of CO2 emissions through a series of UN-accredited carbon sequestration programmes.
Farley told Corporate Jet Investor: “With unemployment levels at unprecedented highs around the world, we are all grateful to we operate in a sector that has proved more resilient than others to date, though we do expect tougher times ahead. Our appointment was initially going to be made at the end of Q1 [first quarter] after completing the management buyout. However, as Covid unfolded we did not feel it was appropriate and deferred, as the safety and wellbeing of our staff took precedence.
“It’s a privilege to be run a company like Victor, and to work with Toby. I am very proud of where we have come from, from plucky startup to where we are today.”
Former CEO, Clive Jackson, led a management buyout of Victor in March with the support of a small group of new investors. Now as chairman, Jackson said he remains committed to developing a lower carbon future for business aviation.
A lower carbon future
Following a career in recruitment, Edwards joined Victor as its first Member Services Executive in July 2012. Over the course of seven years, he has built and trained the sales, operations, and flight management teams in the UK. He has also recruited for the US team, when Victor launched in North America in 2015. In 2018, Edwards was appointed MD for the Europe, Asia-Pacific and Middle East & North Africa regions.
Edwards told Corporate Jet Investor: “There is a huge amount of responsibility involved [in the new role and securing the MBO]. With the pandemic I think it has given us more impetus to give everything we can every day.”
Farley is responsible for Victor’s global profit and loss oversight, ensuring that the consumer and commercial objectives are met across the organisation. With a background in corporate finance advisory for TMT ventures, he was fundamental in securing early-stage financing for Victor in 2010. Farley joined in 2012 as the first head of Product, to help shape the business’ consumer and trade offerings, and has also served as head of Customer Relationship Management, head of Data and head of Strategy and Planning during his time at Victor.
In addition to the management changes, the UK-based online charter booking company has launched a new a Client Preferred Operator programme, which looks to further the levels of transparency customers experience when booking with Victor. Named Victor Client Preferred Operators, the feature enables consumers to see which operators have the best aircraft and service before booking, based on customer feedback.
Client Preferred Operator
Edwards noted: “We have had a lot of new clients over the summer who are perhaps not necessarily familiar with chartering jets. They are used to using an app that is consistent with other booking platforms, for example Airbnb. This feature [providing another level of transparency] will help them with the transaction.”
Farley added: “We are the only provider in the market that can do this. Firstly, we are the only broker to market the operator directly to the end client. Secondly, we are the only company to systematically collect client reviews on the operators and their aircraft and have been doing do for over 5 years… This initiative represents the first step to opening up the marketplace and for the operators we work with, it’s a great opportunity for them to grow their revenues with us”
To qualify as a Client Preferred Operator, the operator must have a minimum of 90% customer satisfaction rating for both the aircraft quality and service onboard. These operators, which are clearly indicated by a star icon on each quotation to clients, must also demonstrate low levels of technical issues. Client Preferred Operators are based on analysis of customer feedback on thousands of private jet and commercial jet flights booked through the Victor platform.