Rock Star World Tour
Air Charter Service were tasked with ensuring ‘Ed Force One’, a Boeing 747 being used for the Iron Maiden Book of Souls World Tour, successfully circumnavigated the world, making all 50 tour dates on time. We were to coordinate the aircraft and all the necessities on board, working closely with Iron Maiden’s management and Air Atlanta.
We worked directly with Air Atlanta, the operator of the Boeing 747, to make the thousands of arrangements necessary for an aircraft of this size to travel around the world. We had at least two members of ACS staff on board every flight, who had to be 10 steps ahead, every step of the way, dealing with flight permissions, landing and take-off slots, fuelling, catering, baggage handling, VIP services and more. There were a few challenges along the way, with extra security at select airports, VIP transfers and secret routes into and out of airports all to be arranged. At most airports we needed to deal with three separate companies – the cargo handlers, VIP handing agents for the band, their support acts and their ‘Killer Krew’, as well as a regular check-in area for anyone else travelling on board.
Back at HQ there were over 15 members of staff involved, and staff from the offices featured on the tour route, also all chipped in to ensure everything ran smoothly. Our representatives on board went above and beyond, decanting liquids and unpacking sandwiches to get them through security, gaining access to the aircraft to collect football kits and arranging the logistics of an Air to Air photoshoot.
However, it was not all relatively smooth sailing, as the aircraft was involved in an incident involving a loose steering pin and an airport tug, which saw damage occur to two engines and the undercarriage. Ed Force One was grounded, but, as is the way, the show must go on. Within hours, after collaboration with other suppliers including Iron Maiden’s management, Air Atlanta and Rock-It Cargo, alternative charters had been found to take the band to the next show, a charter and some scheduled seats were found for Iron Maiden’s ‘Killer Krew’. The 20 plus tons of stage equipment and production was trucked overland and alternative transport arranged for the upcoming shows. Back with Ed Force One, two massive new engines, engineers, parts, cowlings and tools were flown in from Europe and the Gulf, and within 10 days Ed Force One was once again ready to tour.
THE FINER DETAILS
CATERING: Prior to the tour starting we discussed with the client their needs when it came to catering on board. We were advised there would be three levels of catering; VIP, passenger and crew and developed a full plan and budget for the requirements of each leg. Prior to the tour, we also went shopping for additional food and drink, a process we repeated throughout the tour.
FLIGHT REPRESENTATION: We had two account managers on board for the duration of the tour, allowing us to be on call 24/7 and deal with issues as they arose. We worked seamlessly with Iron Maiden's Tour Management throughout, in order to meet the exacting needs of the tour logistics, concert schedule and the band and crew requirements.
CARGO: During the tour, we worked closely with Rock-It Cargo who supplied a loadmaster for the entire tour.
THE FINISHING TOUCHES: As the aircraft was completely unstocked, prior to the tour kicking off we went shopping to provide the aircraft with all the necessary accoutrements, such as loo roll and wet wipes. As well as providing branded coasters, cups and napkins that featured the Ed Force One logo.
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