- AeroVanti is a new private aviation firm offering members-only flights on a unique plane, the Piaggio P.180 Avanti.
- The hourly charter rate is only $1,995 and no repositioning or ferry flight fees are charged.
- Memberships start at $1,000 per month and will soon require a sponsor as AeroVanti grows.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Wealthy travelers have been making the jump from first class to private aircraft during the pandemic, and a new startup is now making it less expensive.
AeroVanti is a membership-based platform where flyers pay a monthly fee for exclusive access to a fleet of Piaggio P.180 Avanti aircraft. Monthly fees are nominal and one hour of flight time only costs $1,995. Plus, flyers aren’t billed for aircraft repositioning, which can drive up charter costs.
Three different membership tiers: individual, family, corporate. An individual membership costs $1,000 per month while a family membership costs $1,500 per month.
Corporate memberships cost $2,500 per month and allow for employees to arrange and take flights. That tier is limited to registered corporations, limited liability companies, or partnerships, however.
Members can book up to 12 round-trips at a time and cancel with no penalty up to 72 hours prior to departure.
Flying the Ferrari of the Skies
The Piaggio P.180 Avanti powering AeroVanti’s business model is an Italian plane that’s popular in Europe thanks to its speed, spacious cabin, and low operating costs compared to jet aircraft.
A curved fuselage creates a spacious interior with a 1.77m tall and 1.86m wide cabin that seats up to seven passengers with a separate lavatory.
Four passengers can fly non-stop between New York and South Florida. But any more than four and the aircraft’s range decreases, especially with carry-on bags.
Chief Pilot Steve Harr told Insider that seven passengers and their bags can only fly a rough 800 nautical miles. That’s around the distance between New York and Daytona Beach, Florida.
Two rear-facing Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-66 engines push the aircraft forward instead of pulling it. In turn, a top speed of Mach .70 is achieved that makes the Piaggio the fastest turboprop in the sky.
The Avanti can also utilize small airports with 1,219.20m runways. New York’s East Hampton Airport, for example, is accessible for the Avanti, under the right conditions.
Flight times are a bit longer compared to jets but flying coast-to-coast can be done with just one stop if conditions allow. Popular mountain destinations like Aspen, Colorado can be a one-stop flight away from the East Coast.
Operating the aircraft is Oklahoma-based Brazos Valley Air Charter, an Argus Gold safety-rated aircraft operator.
Membership is limited and not open to just anybody
AeroVanti’s goal is 1,200 members in 12 months to have enough demand that keeps planes flying regularly, with minimal empty legs.
“The premise is to have power in numbers and with the members having those membership fees, it allows to cover all the expenses for an operation such as [the one] we have,” Patrick Britton-Harr, cofounder and CEO told Insider.
Once AeroVanti passes the 300-member threshold, any prospective applicant needs to be sponsored by a current member.
There will be tradeoffs to the service given the low pricing and members may have to be flexible. A flight may not be able to leave exactly at a passenger’s requested flight time as memberships grow, for example.
Memberships are limited based on fleet size, with five airplanes currently and plans for 12 total by year’s end. Having between 60 and 80 members per aircraft ensures that members can get flights when they want.
AeroVanti is already sourcing additional aircraft, including new builds like Piaggio’s next-generation P.180 Avanti Evo, for when memberships grow.