Floating fleet operator Hera Flight is the latest operator to jump into the jet card segment
There’s another new jet card player as Clearwater, Florida-based charter operator Hera Flight has launched a national guaranteed availability, fixed-hourly rate jet card.
The operator, founded in 2018, offers fixed rates and guaranteed availability on midsize, super midsize, and large cabin aircraft.
The program is a hybrid using Hera Flight’s fleet and third-party operators. It starts at 25 hours and offers a non-peak callout of 72 hours.
There are no repositioning fees for flights within the Continental U.S. and the Bahamas. There are also only 13 peak days.
Hera Flight was founded by Chuck White and Jonathan Hollar.
White is a career aviation operations manager with 25 years at US Airways and at fractional ownership operators.
Hollar is a career business aviation pilot. He holds an Airline Transport Jet Pilot’s License with type ratings in the King Air, Piaggio, LearJet, LearJet 60, Citation X, Gulfstream III, IV, and Gulfstream 550 aircraft and has logged over 13,000 flight hours as a Captain. He is also a Commercial Helicopter and Sea Plane Captain.
The two met when they were at Avantair. They were reunited when Hollar contacted White, who was then selling preowned aircraft, seeking to buy an airplane.
Hollar told White he wanted to start a Part 135 charter operator, and White refused to sell him the airplane he had for sale, telling him it wasn’t suited to grind out the 70 hours a month required to make money in the demanding on-demand charter segment.
The two then decided to go into business together, and today there are 15 jets on the charter certificate.
The fleet includes six Lear 60s, a pair of Citation Xs, another pair of Challenger 601s, and a mix of large cabin Gulfstreams.
White says Hera Flight wants measured growth. The plan is to grow, plateau, and then grow again.
While there are no blackout dates on its jet card, the company itself closes on major holidays.
On those dates, it arranges off-fleet solutions.
“We’re all about the employees. Nobody wants to be in a hotel on Christmas or Thanksgiving,” he says.
The Hera Jet Card Membership is a second attempt for the operator.
White says there was a card program at the very beginning. However, with only a few airplanes, availability was an issue.
With an expanded fleet and availability from other operators, White says now was the right time to launch the current program.
“We’ve grown slowly and smartly. I’ve seen all the mistakes people make,” says White.
One strength of Hera Flight is that it does all its maintenance in-house, with 14 mechanics on staff, something that supports the reliability needed for a guaranteed availability jet card.
Of himself and Hollar, White says, “We are both workaholics, and we both care. In this business, you’re only as good as your last trip.”