Description: Fractional aircraft ownership program, aircraft consultancy, maintenance and service
Start-Up: Under $100,000 in 1992
Sales: 2003 estimated sales of more than $25 million for Alpha Flying and its affiliated companies
Flying Colors: A management consultant with an interest in aviation, Antoniadis took a chance on the friendly skies. Intrigued by the viable opportunities he saw, Antoniadis started Alpha Flying, offering aircraft sales, management and consultation services, and flight instruction and crew scheduling services.
Remain Partial: When fractional ownership became hot, Antoniadis launched PlaneSense in 1996. Targeting small to midsize businesses, PlaneSense offers more affordable Pilatus PC-12 turbo prop aircrafts to transport business travelers as opposed to competitors' small and midsize jets. Starting at as little as $436,000 for a one-eighth share, PlaneSense had close to 9,000 flights in 2002 and estimates a 10 percent increase for 2003.
Private vs. Public: Why are private planes better? "First, productivity," argues Antoniadis. "It's a calendar multiplier. Customers can travel on their schedule to their destination. They can work productively while traveling. They don't have to spend time at airports-check-in time [with us] is three minutes." Since they require shorter runways, the smaller PC-12s also allow travelers to land in close to 10,000 U.S. airports, compared to the 4,000 that airlines and jets serve. "It definitely expands the horizons," quips Antoniadis.
At Your Service: Currently focusing on businesses in the eastern United States, PlaneSense has recently expanded to the Southeast and flies all over the country. Antoniadis clarifies, "We are constantly looking and do see a demand in other regions."