Executive AirShare Celebrates 10th Anniversary

"Regional Fractional" Attributes Growth to Unique Business Model

Oct 18, 2010, 09:00 ET from Executive AirShare

KANSAS CITY, Mo. and ATLANTA, Oct. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Executive AirShare celebrates its 10th anniversary as the nation's only regional fractional aircraft ownership company at the National Business Aviation Association's 63rd Annual Meeting and Convention (NBAA 2010), attributing its growth to a business model that most closely replicates the benefits of full ownership.

Beginning with two aircraft at Wichita's Mid-Continent Airport (ICT), the company today operates a fleet of 21 aircraft—one Phenom 300, six Phenom 100s, four Beechjet 400As, five Super King Air 350s and five King Air C90Bs—for shareowners based in Kansas City, Wichita, Kan., Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla., Dallas, Fort Worth and Buffalo, N.Y.

Together with its wholly owned aircraft management subsidiary, Executive Flight Services—which has served corporate aviation from its flagship location at Fort Worth Meacham Airport (FTW) since 1992—Executive AirShare is the world's leading operator of Embraer Phenom light jet aircraft and the only established fractional to offer ownership shares in both the Phenom 100 and Phenom 300.

"We base our aircraft in the cities where our owners live and make the aircraft available on a 'per day' basis, which virtually eliminates deadheading, maximizes owner productivity and ensures that our owners fly in their own aircraft the majority of the time," said Executive AirShare Chairman and CEO Robert D. Taylor. "This model not only controls costs, but also enables our pilots and owners to get to know one another on a first-name basis."

"Executive AirShare has accelerated our growth by becoming an in-house flight department for a broad range of businesses and individuals in the markets we serve," adds Keith D. Plumb, Executive AirShare president and COO. "We have received strong interest in our new operations at Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF) from business aviators throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes region and look forward to additional expansion in the future."

Executive AirShare's program and aircraft are particularly suitable for companies based in out-of-the-way locations or those who need to land on shorter airstrips. One such company is the very first Executive AirShare shareowner, Stockton Bancshares, Inc., based in Stockton, Kan., who still owns a share in a Super King Air 350 through Executive AirShare today.

For Stockton Bancshares, flying commercially meant a three-hour drive to Wichita or five-hour drive to Denver, Kansas City or Colorado Springs, making any business trip a minimum two-day affair. "We had a four-passenger Mooney 252 that we flew from a grass strip near Stockton, but I was the only pilot and I'm not instrument-rated, so we could only fly on clear days," said James Berkley, chairman, Stockton Bancshares, Inc.

Charter wasn't a good option, either, as there weren't many operators nearby and the cost to dispatch an aircraft from Wichita were prohibitive.

"We were just beginning to explore fractional aircraft ownership in 2000 when [Executive AirShare Chairman and CEO] Bob Taylor approached us about his new company," said Berkley.

"We like the fact that the aircraft comes to pick us up in Hays, which saves us a day's travel on each end of our trip," he said. "We also have our choice of aircraft. Even though we have a share in the King Air 350, at times we've used the Beechjet, C90B or even the Phenom 100 to meet our mission requirements," said Berkley. "And it's nice that the aircraft stays with us, which gives us the flexibility we need to fly on our own timetable."

Berkley's company was so pleased with the service they received from Executive AirShare, that they renewed their contract with the company in 2005.

"All of the folks at Executive AirShare that have worked with us bring a personal touch and I knew I could call Bob directly if I ever had a question or a concern."

"The Executive AirShare business model just makes sense for us," says Edmund McIlhenny, of McIlhenny & Company, Avery Island, La., makers of TABASCO brand pepper sauce, and an Executive AirShare shareowner since 2009. "From the fact that they offer turboprop as well as jet aircraft, to their regional operating model, to the fact that the airplane stays with you on the days you have it, they're really a good fit." McIlhenny and his wife Pam purchased a share in a Beechcraft King Air 350 after defecting from one of the so-called "national" fractional programs due to the poor service they received.

"When you're flying commercial and your flight gets cancelled, you at least have other airlines to choose from or hotels nearby if you have to stay over," said Pam. "But when you're flying privately and your aircraft doesn't show up, you're really stuck. For what an owner is paying, that just doesn't make sense."

For Entertainment Properties Trust, a Kansas City, Mo.-based real estate investment trust, the ability to visit four or more cities in a single day, often stopping to pick up a client along the way, is a huge advantage. "It's a great way for us to accelerate our business," said David Brain, Entertainment Properties President and CEO. "Flying commercially, it could take us an entire week to see the same number of properties that we can visit in one day. Plus, if one of our meetings runs longer than scheduled, we don't have to worry about missing a flight because we have our plane waiting."

Executive AirShare is the world's largest operator of Phenom aircraft and currently operates a fleet of Phenom 300 and 100, Beechjet 400A, King Air 350 and C90B aircraft. Executive AirShare also offers aircraft management and charter services through its subsidiary, Executive Flight Services. For more information about Executive AirShare and its services, please visit www.execairshare.com.  For more information about Executive Flight Services, please visit www.execflightservices.net.

SOURCE Executive AirShare