Gabriella Somerville brings over 25 years of experience working in commercial / business aviation.
Somerville served as part of Virgin Atlantic Cabin Crew and was later selected to be part of the promotional team, hosting inaugural flights to Los Angeles, Orlando and San Francisco. Gabriella then went on to British Airways and undertook a series of appointments for British Airways, concluding as Manager of Cabin Crew at London Gatwick Airport.
Gabriella then went on to set up her own boutique events management company, creating bespoke events for private jet and concierge agencies through the EMEA Markets.
In 2006 Gabriella was appointed Client Relationship Manager for Bombardier Skyjet International, where she held responsibility for managing relations between the private jet company and their Clients. During her time at Bombardier, Gabriella combined her strong customer relationship skills and knowledge of aviation to evolve a revised Jet Membership program – subsequently increasing retention through the implementation of a new CRM program throughout Europe.
Gabriella was then selected as Vice President Program Sales in London/ Southern Regions for Vistajet.
In 2009 Gabriella founded ConnectJets Limited using her own seed capital to finance the venture. The business did well enough to return the seed capital Somerville invested within three months. By year two, ConnectJets sales turned over just under £4m, with zero debt.
Key to enhancing Connectjets position is Gabriella’s continual commitment to develop new products and services, leverage the potential of emerging markets and building value added quality partnerships. Gabriella is both Founder and Managing Director of ConnectJets and is an integral part of the growth and development of ConnectJets on a global level.
In 2012, Gabriella was invited to deliver a keynote speech at the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) Airshow being held in China’s Henan Province. In a closed door presentation to the country’s airspace government officials and private enterprises, Ms Somerville spoke on future trends in the business aviation industry and the European Business Aviation Model.
In January 2014, Somerville secured a contract with Italian aircraft manufacturer Piaggio Aerospace to be the company’s exclusive Sales Agent for the Avanti and new Avanti EVO business turboprop in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Ireland. Gabriella became the first business woman to be appointed sales agent for Piaggio Aerospace and was instrumental in securing the first sale of one Avanti EVO aircraft (plus seven options) to an established UK based charter operator. The first aircraft is scheduled for delivery in October this year.
In 2014, Gabriella was selected as mentor for Sir Richard Branson’s new Entrepreneurial Programme, Virgin Start Up, a not for profit Virgin Company for entrepreneurs.
Charity is very close to Gabriella’s heart and since the inception of ConnectJets, the Company has raised over 150,000 for her two chosen causes, Children’s Hospice and Military Charities. Gabriella also personally orchestrated two run ashore events for RAF Odiham Squadron 18/22 and hosted a military ball in London 2010 to raise money for Help for Heroes.