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This Private Jet Company Took Off Thanks to a Simple Philosophy: 'We Listen to Our Clients' Kevin Wargo, CEO of Fly Alliance, discusses the launch and growth of the private jet charter, management, maintenance, and aircraft part sales company.

By Dan Bova

entrepreneur daily
Fly Alliance

In this ongoing series, we are sharing advice, tips and insights from real entrepreneurs who are out there doing business battle on a daily basis. (Answers have been edited and condensed for clarity.)

Please give us the elevator pitch for your company.
I'm Kevin Wargo, CEO of Fly Alliance. We're an industry-leading private aviation group specializing in private jet charter, management, maintenance, and aircraft part sales. We're one of the few vertically integrated aviation groups in the industry, our services blanket the industry to be self-sufficient and poised for growth. Anchored by more than 20 aircraft that span the globe from light to heavy jets, and over 200 employees, we are proud to be one of the top 20 U.S operators for three consecutive years.


How did your leadership team come together?
Many of us worked together as clients or colleagues in previous private aviation companies. After selling my ownership stake in my first company, I quickly realized that I still had the passion to get back into the industry. However, this time I would incorporate the hard lessons I learned along my journey with some familiar faces I met along the way. I called on those colleagues who were already specialists in different sectors of the industry, and we built an alliance centered around the mistakes that our previous partners and employers made.

Related: 'We're Curating Happiness': See How This Entrepreneur Is Transforming the Wellness Space


What was the spark that inspired you to create this business?
We had a realization that many companies do not listen to their clients. They focus on their own "great ideas" and try to tell their core base that this is what they should want and why. We looked outward and realized that if you incorporate your clients' wishes in how you run your business, you will truly provide the high level of satisfaction they are looking for. When you accomplish that, you have something much stronger than customer loyalty.

An "aha moment" has been reaching out to other vendors for services and realizing there are limited options, if any. The industry is very piecemeal, and we sought to slowly incorporate multiple co-dependent sectors under one umbrella. Our company can not only sell our clients a charter trip or jet card membership on our fleet, but we can also sell our competitors maintenance services for their fleet or sell them parts even if another maintenance vendor is working on their plane. Our scope of services reaches well beyond our network.

How has the industry changed since you began your business? Where do you see it heading?
The industry is ever-changing. Since our beginning in 2019, we saw the biggest uptake in private jet usage due to COVID. COVID drove a large influx of new clients to our industry that have never flown privately before. Once they experienced that they could control their own travel habits and not build their travel around a scheduled commercial service, they were hooked. Most of these clients will continue to fly private but some have decided to go back to commercial which should return business traffic back to 2019 levels. The last four years have been a great catalyst for the business though as we have seen an incredible increase in our other business areas.

Related: Three Buddies Wanted to Have a Better Time At an Outdoor Festival. Their Invention Turned Into a $43 Million Business.

Please tell us one "holy @#$!" moment in your business.
Starting a company just a few months before COVID created the biggest "holy @#$!" moment. Everyone just left their jobs to start this unknown company and then the world went on pause. After a few sleepless months, our scale thankfully grew rapidly, and we had to react quickly to adjust and ensure stability across the entity while continuing to provide excellent customer service. That is when we began to double down on some key investments and some of our non-traditional scope of services.

What advice would you give entrepreneurs looking for funding?
Current clients are going to be your best resource. Look at the people who like your product. They believe in you and your company and have a very different perspective than you would internally. Most of our clients are owners of companies themselves and have experiences and connections they are willing to share. It helps if you have shown them that you have the same morals and work ethic that they do.

Related: 'Success All Comes Down to Storytelling' How Chef Adrianne Calvo Is Cooking Up Big Business Through Podcasting and Social Media

What does the word "entrepreneur" mean to you?
Someone who is not afraid to work harder than anyone else in the room and is willing to do any job presented. Someone who never stops wanting to become better.

How do you define "success"?
Success is problem-solving. Every day has challenges, but success is when the problems you have are new and complex, but you challenge yourself to overcome them.

Is there a particular quote or saying that you use as personal motivation?
"I love problems, give me some notice and let me solve them." This goes along with why I define success as effective problem-solving. Problems are inevitable, and when you learn to embrace the challenges life will throw you, the better suited you are to conquer this world.

Dan Bova

Entrepreneur Staff

VP of Special Projects

Dan Bova is the VP of Special Projects at Entrepreneur.com. He previously worked at Jimmy Kimmel Live, Maxim and Spy magazine. Check out his latest humor books for kids, including Wendell the Werewolf, Road & Track Crew's Big & Fast Cars, and The Big Little Book of Awesome Stuff.

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