As the calendar turns from September to October, and summer to fall, I find myself thinking about the seasons, but also the more general passage of time. This past year marked my second year as CEO of Airshare, as well as our private aviation company’s first anniversary in the Denver market.
Airshare, a revolutionary days-based fractional aircraft provider, established an operational base in Denver in June of 2018. We came here to meet the demands of our customers in insurance, financial services, property management and other businesses. We filled a gap in what was an underserved market when it comes to days-based aviation options. Because we enhance our customers’ productivity and efficiency, we’ve been warmly welcomed and recognized by customers for our precision-like focus on meeting their business needs. Today, we operate about 2,000 flights annually in and out of the Denver area – part of our company’s more than 200% growth over the past decade.
But a serendipitous thing happened during our season of growth: our business customers became leisure customers as well. We’ve learned through experience that when we offer unparalleled service and flexibility, customers seek us out for more. Our business customers not only value efficiency, they also seek the work/life balance that’s becoming increasingly important to all of us. While executives are busier than ever, we know they place great importance on the luxury of time with family, as well as their overall health and wellness. Due to both business and leisure activity, Colorado has become our second, most traveled to location for all Airshare customers across the country. We are operating flights in and out of multiple airports throughout the state almost every day.
Harvard Business Review recently noted the psychological and physical problems caused by employee burnout – a phenomenon with an estimated $125 billion to $190 billion in healthcare spending in the United States. Back to my reflection on the seasons … that life balance often aligns with them. If you’re anything like me – an avid skier with family in Estes Park – you understand the desire to get to slopes during the last few months of the year. Airshare flights to locations like Denver, Aspen and Vail are becoming increasingly popular, especially November through March. We anticipate as much as 25% growth in flights during ski season.
We’re not just bringing visitors to Colorado. We’re also flying locals to their desired destinations, wherever they need to go and for whatever reason, business or leisure. Our program is built for people who need to see other people. Meeting in Dallas or Chicago with fellow executives? A trip to Grand Cayman to enjoy the beach? We fly more than 12,000 flights every year. No matter your destination, Airshare provides you access to 10 times as many airports than do commercial airlines.
At Airshare, the day is yours. The plane and pilots are dedicated to you for the day, so you control your schedule. We don’t limit how many hours you fly, or how many stops you make. You don’t have to worry about getting dropped at a location and a different aircraft and crew come back for you later that day. It results in considerably more flight time – Airshare’s 20 days means our customers often fly as many as 80 hours on a 1/16th share, compared to the typical 50 hours in competitive programs for the same share. While other programs pass the costs of their inefficiencies to their customers via their pricing structure, we allow customers to benefit from our cost savings – as much as 30%. They’re also saved peace of mind. Our private flights ensure just that – privacy. Customers hold conference calls and review confidential documents without worry. Travel doesn’t have to mean a sacrifice in business continuity.
At Airshare, we’re creating opportunities for business growth and personal balance for our customers in the Denver area. While other companies in this space are focused on expanding internationally, we’re investing more resources here at home. After success in Denver, as well as markets in Texas and throughout the Midwest, we’re enhancing the experience and benefiting the bottom line for customers in the Upper Midwest. We’ve launched an aggressive expansion plan in cities like Chicago, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Louisville. We have plans to double our customer base in the next three years, along with significantly growing the overall fleet of Embraer Phenom 300 and Phenom 100 – the finest light jets in the industry.
Thanks to our expansion in the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes region, we’re well positioned for further expansion into New York and other markets in the Northeast in the coming years. At Airshare, we think our best season is yet to come, and we hope the same for you.
John Owen, CEO