Finding charters for a fleet of far-flung airplanes is no easy business. It takes years of developing contacts in the industry, knowledge of dozens of aircraft types, understanding of thousands of airports, and a little bit of luck.
But there is one tool in the toolbox for management companies like Elite Air that takes all the luck out of charter sales. Avinode is a charter marketplace that tracks the fleets of more than 6,000 companies in 96 countries to match up buyers and sellers.
“People ask us all the time, ‘how do you get your charters?’” Elite Air CEO Gray Gibbs said. “One of the tools we never really talk about much is Avinode.”
Gibbs said Elite Air has been using Avinode Marketplace to augment the other ways the company find charters for about four years. While there really is no substitute for having longstanding relationships with aircraft charter brokers, Avinode makes it easier than ever for those brokers to keep in contact with preferred vendors like Elite Air.
“The most unique thing Avinode does, in my mind, is the software knows where your airplane is and matches up your available charters with people and where they are on the road,” Gibbs said.
By way of example, Gibbs said while Elite Air’s Legacy 600 was in New York for three days last quarter, Avinode found a charter customer that needed a flight from White Plains to Bermuda. The Legacy crew flew the customer to the islands and back before the New York-based customer needed to get on the aircraft and head home.
Avinode includes intelligent search tools that also allow users to sell empty legs to buyers looking for true oneway pricing. In addition to monitoring its customers’ availability, the Avinode system allows users like Elite Air to input real-time pricing and fleet information from their own sophisticated in-house monitoring systems. The Avinode software is compatible with a variety of platforms, including tablet computers and smart phones, giving management companies a 24-hour-aday, 365-day-a-year sales tool.
“Avinode is just one more way Elite Air is able to give its customers the best service in the industry,” Gibbs said. “It’s not a new technology, but it’s one of those things that is getting better and better all the time, and most people don’t even know it exists.”