Avantair, which operates a fractional ownership fleet of Piaggio Avanti twin turboprops, signed its 100th customer last month. Phil Satre, chairman of the board of Harrah’s Entertainment, purchased a one-eighth share. Avantair, established two years ago, has offices in Caldwell, N.J., Reno, Nev. and St. Petersburg, Fla.
In its first-quarter FY2008 report issued late last week, Clearwater, Fla.-based fractional provider Avantair said revenues increased by 52.9 percent, to $25.7 million, year-over-year, but its quarterly net loss increased to $4.8 million from $3.8 million a year ago.
When Steven Santo announced the creation of a fractional ownership program with an aircraft fleet consisting solely of Italian-built Avanti turboprop twins, some reacted to the news with skepticism. The economy was entering a recession, they said, and the airplane itself had never sold well.
Now the skeptics are silent, and Santo typically shows up for work with the smile of a man well satisfied with his lot in life.
Piaggio Aero Industries, which emerged from bankruptcy five years ago and has gradually stopped bleeding red ink, last month received a record order valued at approximately $200 million for 29 Avanti turboprop twins, including the conversion of five options to firm orders from an earlier acquisition by the same buyer.
As part of its strategy to increase its FBO holdings, fractional-share operator Avantair has set its sights on buying or building a second FBO, this one at Essex County Airport in Caldwell, N.J. Avantair opened a new FBO at Camarillo Airport in southern California in August and provides FBO services at its company headquarters at St. Petersburg-Clearwater Airport in Florida.
Italian aircraft manufacturer Piaggio Aero (Booth No. 3717) yesterday celebrated a milestone agreement with the sale of 22 Avanti II twin turboprops to U.S. fractional operator Avantair.
Even as Italian manufacturer Piaggio Aero Industries reaps the benefits of a remarkable sales resurgence in the U.S., the company increasingly views its own backyard as fertile soil for future growth.
Fractional operator Avantair, which flies the P180 Avanti II exclusively, said last month that it is partnering with carbon offset company TerraPass. Per the agreement, TerraPass will fund environmentally friendly energy projects such as wind energy and biomass (methane as an energy source) with carbon offset payments from Avantair. The operator claims to be the first fractional to offer such a program.
Piaggio Avanti, Teterboro, N.J., June 17, 2007 – The pilot of a fractional Avanti, cleared to take off from Runway 24 at Teterboro Airport, averted a collision with a Cirrus SR22, cleared to take off on the intersecting Runway 19, when the Avanti pilot saw the Cirrus taking off and on an apparent collision course.
Thirty years ago, most people would have dismissed anyone who said they’d eventually make money by selling bottled water, especially since tap water was, and still is, plentiful and nearly free. But since then, a lot of people have actually traded tap water for bottled water, resulting in skyrocketing sales of the clear liquid in plastic bottles.