1.How did you come about founding Avantair?
Avantair was founded in July 2003, as the value proposition in private aircraft travel and the exclusive fractional provider of the Piaggio Avanti aircraft. Avantair is the fifth largest company in the North American fractional aircraft industry and the only publicly-traded standalone fractional operator. With an entrepreneurial spirit behind it, Avantair has grown to be one of the most unique fractional companies in the industry with the world’s largest fleet of Piaggio Avanti’s. The company uses the Avanti – the world’s fastest turboprop, which rivals the speed of most light cabin jets. The aircraft also boasts the same size cabin cross section as a super mid-size aircraft and has the benefit of the fuel efficiency of a turboprop. The Avantair team is constantly developing additional programs and travel solutions that will allow the company to continue to provide the highest level of customer service. A 120,000 square foot 24/7 state-of-the-art operations command center is currently under construction. The center will also serve as the maintenance and interior completions center in St.Petersburg/Clearwater, FL.
2. How does Avantair differ from other air charter services and how is it better?
Avantair stands apart from other private aircraft operators because we offer luxury travel and the convenience of flying privately at a true value.
When Avantair entered the market, we found this void between expensive private travel, which, at the time, was mostly status-driven, and commercial travel, and aimed to fill it. As the exclusive provider of fractional shares and flight time cards of the Piaggio Avanti aircraft, we offer customers travel in the world’s fastest turboprop that has the space and luxury of a mid-size jet, the speed of a light jet and even greater efficiency than a traditional turboprop.
Our aircraft are also the most eco-conscious private planes in the industry because they burn 40 percent less fuel and emit 35 percent less carbon than any of our competitors’--which, in turn, not only reduces our impact on the environment, but allows us to reduce our operational costs. We are then able to pass along the savings and efficiencies that are a result of our singular mission focus and state of the art technology to our customers by offering private travel at 30-40 percent less than our competitors without sacrificing luxury or service.
3.What types of memberships does Avantair offer and which one is most popular?
Avantair offers a variety of memberships to fit our owners’ lifestyles. Our programs popularity has allowed Avantair to become the leader in the light jet category with a 28% market share. Our Edge Card program became extremely popular over the past 2 years. And, with the introduction of the Axis Club Membership, that program has taken off as well.
Fractional Ownership – Avantair fractional ownership provides all the advantages of owning your own aircraft without the hassle of the costs or maintenance issues that go along with outright aircraft ownership. The owner only pays for their actual hours in the plane; there are no charges for plane repositioning fees as there would be when chartering an aircraft or owning a whole aircraft. Fractional ownership is available from 50 flight hours to over 800 flight hours per year.
Edge Card – Avantair’s Edge Card is available for either 15 or 25 hours and is for the less frequent flyer who would like to fly privately. The Edge Card users receive all of the advantages of private travel without the acquisition costs of fractional ownership with a 1 year term.
AXIS Club Membership – This program offers a unique perspective for travelers interested in flying privately with lower upfront costs. The AXIS Club Membership bridges the gap between the hourly costs associated with time cards and the initial financial commitment of a fractional share. AXIS Club Membership provides operational and financial flexibility for travelers’ needs. This exclusive membership is ideal for travelers who would like to reduce their initial financial outlay, prefer a shorter term commitment (3 years) and fly between 50 to 400 hours per year.
4.What background do clients come from that use Avantair?
Avantair has owners from a very diverse mix of backgrounds that includes people from across the country, spanning everywhere from Hawaii to California to New York. Our owners use Avantair to travel for both professional and personal reasons. Many are CEO’s and presidents or companies, while other are retired individuals. Each group comes to us looking for a smart travel solution where they can have both luxury and value. Many are extremely interested in the economy of fuel and the green aspect.
5.How has Avantair taken steps to “Go green?”
Avantair has led the greening of the private travel industry by offering an environmentally friendly way to fly private. Our aircraft burn 40 percent less fuel than our competitors’, significantly reducing our carbon footprint. In addition to eco-conscious aircraft, we were the first to offer an offset program in which we purchase Flight TerraPass credits, which fund clean energy and greenhouse gas reduction projects in the US, for all new owners. By being an environmental leader in this industry, we grew by 24.4 percent last year in the light jet category, helping to satisfy the demand of travelers to fly privately, but also responsibly.
6.How did Avantair help out with the Haiti crisis?
Many of our shareowners and the companies that we often partner with have a direct connection to Haiti so Avantair had a deep personal interest in the stabilization of the area. In February, we flew two groups of Ocean Reef Club staff members – many of whom have family members living in Haiti – to deliver about 400 packages of rice, beans and canned meats to victims of the earthquake. One of our shareowners, David Turock, also made a significant contribution by donating a plane and flight crew to the Northern Lights Foundation. The Foundation used the plane to fly a team of doctors and nurses from East Hampton to West Palm Beach to meet up with a medical team, who together flew to Haiti to provide life-saving medical relief to victims. Even with all this help, we know there is still an unbelievable amount of work that needs to be done in Haiti and we are pursuing additional opportunities to help on an ongoing basis.
7.What type of Aircraft does Avantair use and why does your company use such an aircraft?
Avantair is the sole provider in the U.S. to the Piaggio Avanti. With its close affiliation to the Ferrari Automobile, the Piaggio Avanti has a unique design and a forward wing that gives the aircraft a very futuristic look. The Piaggio Avanti is also an extremely efficient aircraft and reaches up to 450 mph while reducing fuel usage to 40 percent less than other aircraft in the industry. Our niche in the 300-1200 mile mission allows us to outperform the competition.
The aircraft’s unique design is the main factor in its superior performance. A small wing located strategically on the front of the aircraft reduces weight and draft, which makes the aircraft the fastest in the world.
Avantair chooses this aircraft because we are looking for the most comfortable, luxurious experience for our customers without compromising speed and value. We are also committed to reducing the private aircraft industry’s impact on the environment so the Piaggio Avanti aircraft is the perfect fit for us.
8.How can one learn more about becoming a member of Avantair?
You can visit our website at www.Avantair.com or contact our sales professionals directly at 877-289-7180. We are happy to schedule a confidential consultation and assess your travel needs at your convenience.