Aerovanti secures $100 million to expand private air club program.
AeroVanti is expanding beyond its original low-price access to private flights based on the Piaggio platform.
While it is still pitching affordable private aviation, the membership club plans to launch a yacht and car component next year.
It is also expanding its fleet with jets and envisions flying sports teams.
Founder and CEO Patrick Britton-Harr says his Annapolis, Maryland-based start-up has secured a $100 million investment led by Lafayette Aircraft Leasing.
Principals of the firm, which doesn’t have a website, have been involved in private aviation investments, particularly in Europe, Britton-Harr says.
Lafayette Aircraft officials did not respond to requests for comment.
AeroVanti has already used the first $3 million of its funding to purchase a Phenom 100.
Its current fleet includes nine Piaggios, four Lear 31As, a Gulfstream GIII, and a helicopter.
Britton-Harr says the company is still adding Piaggios as it can acquire them on the used market.
However, three more Phenom 100s are coming by early next year, and also a Phenom 300.
He wants to acquire a Boeing 767 or similar widebody.
That aircraft would be used to enter the sports team charter market. The founder says the opportunity to transport teams comes because airlines have backed off the segment.
AeroVanti is also finalizing expansion at its Sarasota base with additional hangar space supported by Space Florida. The deal is close to being finalized, according to Britton-Harr.
Earlier this year, AeroVanti announced a $9.75 Series A funding round, its second raise since it launched last year.
Since AeroVanti is currently flying members under Part 91F, flight costs are based on direct operating costs.
While members receive an estimated quote, flight charges are based on direct costs with detailed invoices post-flight.
Part 91F allows for double fuel costs, crew travel, lodging, hangar, insurance for the specific flight, landing fees, airport taxes, and several other direct expenses.
The company gained attention by initially promoting a $1,950 per hour rate to fly. Britton-Harr says the net effect is still similar.
Plans call for operations to eventually transition to Part 135.
While the upcoming Yacht Club will offer low daily pricing, unlike the aviation membership, it requires a $50,000 deposit.
AeroVanti’s launch last year was marred by a split with Brazos Valley Air, which was to operate the Piaggio aircraft.
The membership club then had to scramble to find lift as the market reached record demand levels.
Several members recently told Private Jet Card Comparisons that service has improved over recent months.
Britton-Harr says he has turned 180 degrees from his original plan to outsource as much as possible, now focusing on vertical integration from member services to maintenance.