Start-up charter company Rennia Aviation is adding two more aircraft to its certificate as it begins to build its fleet in a slow, controlled way, said founder Ed Rennia. Based at Gainesville Regional Airport in Florida, Rennia opened its doors in 2015 and secured its Part 135 certificate in June.
While the operation is fairly new, it comes with experience, Rennia said. He launched his first Part 135 charter with a partner in 2006 but sold his share to the partner a few years later. He remained involved with the operation over the years, either as a consultant or full time.
In 2015, Rennia, who also has been an instructor for Simcom, branched out on his own again with Rennia Aviation. With that founding, former customers and former colleagues joined him.
“We treat all our customers and employees as family,” he said. “We’re not a big outfit and I don’t have visions of being a giant company. We really try to keep the costs in control for owners and provide good jobs for our work force.”
The company’s vision, he said, “is to be more of an advocate for the owner of the airplanes.” This includes tailoring the management agreement to the individual needs of the customer, Rennia said. It also means full transparency.
“Our contracts are very clear,” he said. “We tell them exactly how much we are going to make on every single thing we do.” He also said that the company makes sure to keep expectations realistic. “I don’t want to overpromise anything,” but he added, “I am going to save them money.”
The company has had two aircraft on its certificate, a Falcon 20 and Citation II. The initial management and charter customers returned their business to Rennia. “We had a client base from 2006 that has stayed pretty loyal.” The company has been going through the conformity process to add two more.
Since he has obtained the certificate, though, the number of Rennia’s inquiries has jumped.
“There is a tremendous amount of interest and opportunity since we got our certificate. It’s pretty exciting,” Rennia said. “The expectations were not as high as we’ve seen.”
But at the same time, he said he wants to grow slowly. “My initial plan was not to grow quite as fast. I don’t want to sacrifice the size by making it so big that we can’t provide the service,” Rennia said. “I’m not sure what that limit is going to be.”
The company currently has 15 employees, many of whom have worked with him over the past decade. “I want to expand the family, as long as we can find good people and grow at a controlled rate.”
Rennia is beginning its business as Argus Gold rated and is implementing a safety management system. The company also provides its own light maintenance. He is looking ahead at additional plans and services offerings, including one that may involve regional transportation, but said those plans are still in early stages.