Back in time eight years, back to 2013. The non-competition between serial entrepreneur Kenny Dichter and NetJets has just expired. Three years ago, he sold his start-up company Marquis Jet Partners to the world’s largest private aviation supplier. As early as 2001, Dichter reached an agreement to sell the NetJets fleet of flights within 25 hours, which led to the jet card revolution. Today’s card is 20% Cyber jet flight. At that time, it was not even on the market.
Wheels Up is a different approach. Dichter hopes to democratize the private aviation market. The horse he chose was Beechcraft King Air 350i. The price of an hour of flight time for an eight-seater turboprop is lower than that of a jet. Dichter supports this aircraft because it can transport a large number of skiers or golfers to smaller and more convenient airports.
His method is just like other jet cards. Members get a fixed rate. In other words, they will know what they will pay when signing the contract, instead of using a price for each trip. Charter broker. However, he does not need a deposit. You need to pay a membership fee to join, and then pay for what you use on a flight-by-flight basis, without having to write a six-digit check.
Last year, Wheels Up earned more than $550 million in revenue depositAfter two years of acquisition frenzy, it is now the second largest private jet operator in the United States. In the next few weeks, it will become Publicly traded Listed on the New York Stock Exchange, valued at more than 2 billion U.S. dollars.
Patrick Britton-Harr, another serial entrepreneur who runs a business in Annapolis, Maryland, hopes Aviation Wanti It is the reincarnation of this decade.If he succeeds, he will need to avoid the following pitfalls JetSmarter, Jet Suite, Black Jet, Rise, ImagineAir and other companies that have the same vision to transfer passengers from first class to private cabins.
For now, he seems to be following Dichter’s script-there are a few key twists that mean lower prices.
AeroVanti use Piaggio P.180 The turboprop aircraft has the cabin space of a medium jet aircraft, and the speed of an ultralight jet aircraft can accommodate 7 people. He is not chartering a plane. He rented it to himself, which gave him complete control over the schedule.He and Part 135 operator Brazos Valley Charter drive a plane.This is an arrangement similar to Dichter’s tapping Gamma Air Signature When he launched.
Britton-Harr will not be discounted Empty leg or Take a seat Options. On the contrary, the hourly rate for the full plane offered to members is only $1,950, plus tax (east of the Mississippi) and $2,450, plus tax to the west.For comparison, Wheels Up’s King Air 350i sells for $4,695 per hour.
AeroVanti’s membership starts at only $12,000 per year, and you can pay monthly. At least there is currently no deposit plan-pay as you go. The problem is that availability cannot be guaranteed. If you have a free plane when you call, you can fly. Up to 12 reservations can be reserved at a time, and reservations can be made up to 365 days in advance. You may need to adjust flexibly on an hourly or daily basis, but Britton-Harr believes that the price is appropriate for many of his target customers.
Although the 37-year-old makes money from medical services — his first venture was to provide residents with dental services to assist living facilities — he is no stranger to aviation. The third-generation pilot, whose father Steve Harr was the chief pilot, was a former naval pilot who flew for airlines for 35 years and began to work for Piedmont Airlines like his father. Then through mergers and bankruptcies, American Airlines, US Airways, and finally American Airlines.
This tells the father and son that the experience was not a deterrent, but a lesson. Hal said he has always admired Herb Kelleher, the co-founder of Southwest Airlines, who has said that he puts employees before customers and shareholders.
Britton-Harr said that he brought a lean management approach to AeroVanti. Only 10 employees-Brazos flies the plane, so it hires pilots and support staff. Even marketing and accounting are outsourced. This is one of the reasons to avoid deposits. More paperwork to track customer funds means more manpower and more expenses.
There is no phone number on its website. You apply online. Britton-Harr said that after the initial 300 members, it will be recommended to get more members.
There are currently five P.180 plans to add more. All have been internally upgraded and equipped with WiFi. Britton-Harr said he is negotiating with Piaggio to purchase new models in the future. The Italian manufacturer is currently in the process of exiting the takeover, with fewer than 10 aircraft delivered in the past three years. Britton-Harr said he is not worried about the parts of the existing fleet, because he said Brazos has the largest inventory in the world.
Currently, Brazos is only allowed to operate in the United States. However, it has applied for and hopes to obtain authorizations covering Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. This may come in midsummer.
One problem AeroVanti will not encounter is the recruitment of pilots. Harr said he has a strong pipeline. Many retired airline captains hope to continue flying beyond the mandatory retirement age of 65.
Another area where AeroVanti does not have any shortage is the big dream. Britton-Harr has a vision of expanding into Europe. Later, he plans to add large-cabin jets to connect budget operations on both sides of the Atlantic.