By Jill James, Published: May 12, 2008
Businessman Daniel Sugar, the Essex-based executive who is the son of entrepreneur Alan Sugar, runs Amsprop, the family's Essex-to-Mayfair office investment company.
He is in the happy position of being able to use the company's own airline when he travels on transatlantic business.
As managing director of Amsair Executive Aviation, Mr Sugar travels to the US frequently. He says of his company: "We are set up rather differently from most private jet companies. The aircraft are brand new. We offer pretty much a concierge service for private clients. We look after every detail from the moment a client has booked."
He mentions food as an example. "Clients may want a meal ordered from somewhere else, and we'll organise that. We'll also be flight-tracking to check for any possible delays and we'll triple check the car transfers at either end of the journey.
"It's the attention to detail that gives someone the leading edge. Rather than being price-led, the big corporates prefer to use us because we get the service right. Our tailor-made package is really a bit different to our competitors."
Most of the company's business is corporate. "About 70 per cent," says Mr Sugar. "We have quite a few banking clients, real estate, law firms. We've a fair spread of clients. For select clients we open an account.
"We say to our blue-chip clients 'We'll give you credit' - a rare thing in corporate aviation, but it gives companies who use us a lot more flexibility." He cites a client who recently wanted to come back from Miami to the UK, and Amsair did the trip for $70,000 in a brand new Gulfstream jet. "We could do it because of our strategic partnerships with other air brokers - the client might have paid $150,000 elsewhere."
Mr Sugar adds: "We are mindful of the fact that the economy isn't marvellous at the moment and, as it's a competitive industry, we can't be too expensive." However, he is confident that the company's business model will stand the test of straitened times.
"We are not going after huge turnover. We have long-standing clients - about 60 to 70 of them - but they come back to us because we don't let them down. We run a lean machine and are clear in what we offer."