A pioneer of aviation

A pioneer of aviation

A pioneer of aviation


Action Aviation

A group of pioneers standing next to an aviation spacecraft.

Action Aviation is a broker of private jets, but also pioneers sustainability ventures in business aviation – and, under its founder Hamish Harding, took on world-record feats of flying

Captain Hamish Harding did not do things by halves, whether it was climbing Kilimanjaro one month or flying into space the next. On the board of trustees of New York’s Explorers Club and inducted into the Living Legends of Aviation organisation, he held three Guinness World Records along with many other achievements. He had gone to space on a Blue Origin rocket in 2022 and to the bottom of the Mariana Trench in a two-person submarine in 2021. Tragically, Hamish was among the five crew who died in June 2023 on a dive onboard the OceanGate submersible to explore the wreckage of the Titanic.

A pioneer holding a British flag in front of a spacecraft.

Hamish was the founder and Chairman of Action Aviation, a well-known international business jet brokerage company. It was an entrepreneurial success of which he was very proud, not only for the complex transactions it carried out, but also for its pioneering sustainability ventures in business aviation. Action Aviation will continue its operation in full accordance with the wishes, aspirations and philosophy of Hamish, fuelled by his utmost confidence in the team and its expertise, and the trust and loyalty of its clients and partners. The following is based on an interview that was recently held with Hamish for inclusion in this publication:

British-born Hamish was the only person in the Living Legends of Aviation organisation – which celebrates achievements in flying – to own an aircraft brokerage company. Hamish explained that people come to Action Aviation knowing it is a one-stop shop that does most things in business aviation: buying and selling jets, aircraft management, aircraft financing and chartering.

“The day job is aircraft sourcing, but outside of that Action Aviation loves unusual and worthwhile aviation missions worldwide”

Hamish himself owned several business jets, including a Boeing Business Jet that seats 21 and features a double bed, shower room and lounge, and a Gulfstream G650ER, on which he was type rated. He first started flying in the RAF cadets at school, aged 13, in RAF Chipmunk trainers, and earned his private pilot’s licence in 1985 while studying Natural Sciences at Cambridge University. He enjoyed a successful career in Banking Technology for 15 years, but later switched to business aviation full-time, progressing from piloting light aircraft to captaining Gulfstream jets. He started Action Aviation in 2004, and it has blossomed into a successful worldwide enterprise.

Action Aviation takes pride in finding the best deals for pre-owned aircraft, identifying and acquiring business jets quickly and at a good price. It works with a network of partners to oversee maintenance and refurbishment, and has the capacity and connections to manage the charter of jets for owners with lower personal usage. “Clients know we are owners and professionals, and we look after their aircraft as if it were our own,” said Hamish.

Recent years have seen demand outstrip supply for private jets, and Dubai-based Action Aviation strives to ensure global clients get maximum value in a busy market. Here, Hamish brought his considerable experience and awareness of changing markets to the company: “Flying privately is an effective use of time. And acquisition of a business jet can be a good experience and a worthwhile investment if the transaction is assisted by the right experts.”

In addition, Action Aviation gets involved in exciting and challenging aviation projects, from world-record attempts to conservation. In 2022, Hamish helped reintroduce wild cheetahs to India, some 70 years after they became extinct there, locating a Boeing 747 aircraft that could be reconfigured to take eight of the big cats and their vets. He then flew with them from Africa to India, where they were released into the wild by the Indian prime minister. Action Aviation is also committed to improving sustainability. Hamish’s 2019 NASA-supported One More Orbit world-record flight, circumnavigating the world via the north and south poles, which took place on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, was carbon negative, helping to support The Carbon Underground, a project that promotes sustainable agriculture.

A group of pioneers standing next to an aviation spacecraft.

Hamish summed up his approach and philosophy to both business and life: “The day job is aircraft sourcing, but what we really love is unusual and worthwhile aviation missions worldwide.”