Leviate offers management, whole aircraft sales, and is expanding its charter brokerage by formalizing its FlyNext jet card
When Leviate Air Group founder Luis Barros graduated from Ohio State University’s aviation program, he had job offers from market leader NetJets and Jet Select, which at the time was managing just four aircraft.
Barros chose Jet Select with the promise that the company had plans to grow the 30 jets, and in a small company, he would have a chance to learn more than being pigeon-holed at an industry behemoth.
“I saw everything. I started as an entry-level dispatcher and then was able to get into sales,” he tells Private Jet Card Comparisons.
He then moved to Houston-based Part 135 operator Starbase Jets, where he built its brokerage business.
In 2014, with two colleagues, he left to launch Horizon Air Group, a charter broker. There was an informal jet card offer to have one. However, the core business was on-demand charter with a strong repeat clientele driven by high-touch service.
“There were three of us (Randall Mize and Rob Rosenberg) in a Regus office. Two of us shared a desk,” he says.
The big moment came in 2017 when the owner of Starbase reached out to Barros looking to exit the industry, which was a side business anyway.
After a call from Alaska Airlines to let him know they owned the air carrier rights to the Horizon name, the operator and broker were rebranded to Leviate Air Group.
There are three distinct disciplines. One is aircraft management. There are currently 11 aircraft, with six on a Part 135 certificate.
There are whole aircraft sales, where Leviate was recently accepted to IADA, the International Aircraft Dealers Association.
Then there is the charter brokerage that houses its FlyNext jet card.
Barros says in terms of fleet, the focus is growing the Part 135 aircraft, mainly super mid and large, to 20 in the near term and 50 in the future.
This year the company will break $30 million in revenues, and Barros sees hitting the $50 million in the future.
Leviate FlyNext jet card
The jet card is now a formal part of the offering but not a focus. There are currently under 100 members.
It could be more. FlyNext light jet rate is $5,990 per hour, the midsize rate is $7,470, the super mid is $8,950, and the large cabin hourly rate is $11,550, all including FET.
There is a 120-minute minimum, and the fixed-rate service area ends at 250 miles from the U.S. border.
One-way bookings can’t be canceled.
However, there are only 14 peak days. There is no peak day surcharge, and the peak day booking window is just 72 hours.
It also uses estimated flight time, so you know the final price for the trip before you fly.
Barros says the company may change terms in the future as it navigates the same market conditions as everyone else, with supply outstripping demand. Originally the call-out was 12 hours.
However, for now, it offers a nice option for customers who aren’t flexible to avoid peak days.
A long-term view
Barros says that Leviate doesn’t favor its in-house fleet instead of looking for the best solution for its customers in terms of on-fleet versus off-fleet for on-demand charter bookings.
Being privately owned with his two partners, the focus is providing high-touch, high-quality, he says.
For example, he points to its Part 135 operation being both Argus Platinum and IS-BAO Stage 2. On the aircraft brokerage, he believes being accepted to IADA was a Good Housekeeping stamp of approval.
“We’re not looking to be a billion-dollar company or do an IPO. We are here for the long term. We’re not a charter broker dabbling in sales or an operator dabbling in charter. Our focus is being best in class in aircraft management and charter operations, charter brokerage, and aircraft sales. We want relationships that last for the next 20 or 30 years,” he says.
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