April 23, 2014

Private Aviation

Flying High

New Yorker Craig Siegel moved to Boca Raton two years ago to have a Florida base for the private air travel company BlueStarJets he started with his college buddies, Richard Sitomer and Todd Rome. Business for the 4-year-old company, Siegel says, is soaring.

"Our revenues are up 350% year-over-year since we started," says Siegel, who says south Florida ranks third in private aviation behind New York and Los Angeles.

BlueStar's Florida business has quadrupled since the company's inception, Siegel says.

Who's Flying? Clients include entertainment and sports figures, executives and wealthy families. BlueStar will be flying Sting around when he launches his U.S. tour.

An Edge: BlueStar has an innovative fee structure. In contrast to fractional companies, which offer timeshare on an aircraft, BlueStar customers buy flight hours and avoid the acquisition, maintenance and monthly fees associated with fractional ownership. The company also offers a "debit card" for flight hours called the SkyCard. Frequent fliers can purchase from $50,000 to $1 million worth of flight hours, on which BlueStar pays 6% interest.


Frequent Flier
DARYLE SCOTT
President, founder / Venus Swimwear
JacksonvilleScott's Top Pick: a pilot himself, Scott bought time on fractional company Avantair, which has maintenance facilities and a sales office at the St. Petersburg/Clearwater International Airport. Scott likes the type of plane Avantair flies, the Piaggio Avanti.The Jet: The Piaggio Avanti is fast, has a relatively large cabin and is quieter because the props are in the back of the plane.Flight Hours Logged? "At our company somebody is going somewhere every 10 days. We own about 100 hours of flight time."

Tags: Around Florida

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