Rock Star World Tour
Air Charter Service were tasked with ensuring the Iron Maiden Book of Souls World Tour successfully circumnavigated the world, making all 50 tour dates on time and coordinating the aircraft and all the necessities on board, working closely with Iron Maiden’s management and Air Atlanta to accomplish this.
The client wanted to be able to fly a Boeing 747-400 around the world, with the lead singer at the controls. They were flying 48 sectors, covering six continents, carrying 22 tonnes of cargo and they wanted our help in ensuring it all ran smoothly.
After preliminary discussions with the band’s management team, we assembled an experienced team to work directly with Air Atlanta, the operator of the aircraft chosen to become the latest incarnation of Ed Force One. This team would work with Air Atlanta to make the thousands of arrangements necessary for an an aircraft of this size to travel the 48 legs across 21 countries that the tour visited. We were directly responsible for arranging flight permissions, catering and fuel, as well as handling agents. At most airports we needed to deal with three separate companies – the cargo handlers for the 22 tonnes of stage equipment in the hold, VIP handing agents for the band and their ‘Killer Krew’ as well as a regular check-in area for anyone else travelling on board. We also had extra personnel on standby, who were put to the test when, in Santiago de Chile, airport workers moving the aircraft were involved in an incident which saw damage occur to two engines and the undercarriage as well as injury to two workers. We worked with Iron Maiden’s management, Air Atlanta and Rock-It Cargo to make the necessary arrangements to keep the tour moving. This included finding alternative charters and scheduled seats to take the band and ‘Killer Krew’ to the next show. The 20 plus tons of stage equipment and production was trucked over a difficult pass through the Andes Mountains into Cordoba. There was then a need for alternative transport for the following Argentine and Brazilian shows. In 10 days Ed Force One was back in service after two new engines had been fitted with engineers, parts, cowlings and tools all flown in from Europe and the Gulf.
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.
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 stocks, a process we then repeated throughout the tour.
Handling: We advised on which airports would be best suited to both the aircraft, and the band’s needs and liaised with local ground handlers to ensure smooth passage. In some cases we used private airports, whilst other times we had to use private terminals within the airports or the main terminal itself. Our Representatives managed and supervised the smooth handilng of the passengers and crew through the airport procedures and co-ordinated handling with ground transport arrangements.
Cargo: During the tour, we worked closely with Rock-It Cargo who supplied a loadmaster for the entire tour.
Stock: 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, wet wipes, coasters, cups and napkins.