SevenJet has started a fractional program for Piaggio Avantis at its base in St. Petersburg, Fla., using both former employees and aircraft from bankrupt Avantair. Notably, this marks the return of a fractional program for the Italian twin turboprop since Avantair, which also was based in St. Petersburg, ceased operations in June 2013.
“The Avanti is a great aircraft thanks to its jet-like midsize cabin and speed combined with turboprop economics,” SevenJet president Chuck White told AIN. White, a former vice president at Avantair, said that the company specifically chose St. Peterburg as the base for its six Avantis—all former Avantair airframes—since there is still a good pilot base for the aircraft there. Paul Woodard, the head of sales at SevenJet and a former customer service director at Avantair, rounds out the company’s leadership team.
“We’re only operating east of the Mississippi for now, as we don’t want to become over-extended like Avantair did when it pushed westward,” he said. SevenJet is operating the Avantis under Part 135 rules and is offering jet cards and charter service in the aircraft. The company’s fleet includes four Beechjets based in Salt Lake City.
SevenJet is a subsidiary of C&L Aviation Group, an aviation maintenance, parts and support based in Bangor, Maine. C&L also maintain’s SevenJet’s fleet.