Global Returns From Downtime, Beechjet to Follow

The Global has undergone a full interior and exterior refurbishment. Pictures will be released soon.

The Global has undergone a full interior and exterior refurbishment. Pictures will be released soon.

The Global 5000, the largest aircraft in the Elite Air management fleet, returned to service on Dec. 11 after an extensive interior and exterior refurbishment. The company’s Beechjet is also again available on a limited basis and will soon return to full service.

The Global has been unavailable for charter for several months while undergoing the full renovation, as well as a standard maintenance inspection. It has been returned to service with an all new appearance and features upgraded amenities, including free domestic wireless internet.

“This renovation has made one of the finest jets in our fleet even finer,” Elite Air Marketing Director AJ Becker said. “We can’t wait to showit off to our customers.”

Bombardier’s heavy-class Global 5000 offers more space and better performance than almost any aircraft at its price point. Passengers can enjoy nonstop capabilities from continental Europe to the U.S. West Coast at unmatched comfort. The aircraft boasts six fully reclining/berthable seats, a berthable divan and a four-seat conference table. In addition to unlimited wireless internet access, the Elite Air Global’s amenities include a SATCOM and Iridium-based telephone system, a galley touchscreen control monitor, six individual seat monitors with DVD/CD capability, espresso maker, oven, microwave, fully enclosed lavatory and more.

Elite Air’s Beechjet 400 is a reliable light jet option that will complement the company’s fleet of three Lear 31s when it returns. The aircraft offers a cruising speed of more than 400 knots and seats eight, making it ideal for trips between 500 and 1,200 miles. Other amenities include a full galley for in-flight refreshments, phone and onboard lavatory.

Elite Air Launches New Daily Availability Mailer

Sign up for Elite Air’s new daily availability mailer by emailing  charter@eliteair.com .

Sign up for Elite Air’s new daily availability mailer by emailing charter@eliteair.com.

Elite Air’s communications department has begun delivering a daily email update of charter availability to the industry’s leading brokers and charter customers. To be added to the distribution list, email charter@eliteair.com.

The new daily emailer was established in response to the growing number of airplanes in Elite Air’s fleet, according to company Communications Director Shea Gibbs.

“As our fleet of aircraft grows and gains in geographic footprint, we had to find a way to let people know where we were on a day-to-day basis,” Gibbs said. “The new e-newsletter offers at-a-glance information about our empty legs, transient aircraft and aircraft on the ground at home.”

In addition to the daily updates, Elite Air will offer other special offers, including empty legs that come up any time during the day, via the distribution list. Subscribers to the list can opt out at any time.

“If you are a broker and you’re not on this list, you’ll be a step slower to learn about our availability,” Elite Air Marketing Director AJ Becker said. “It’s really an easy call for anyone looking to get the best pricing from us.”

Elite Air Adds Two More Aircraft in Houston

Elite Air has added a Legacy 600 and a second Citation X to its fleet in Houston, Texas. The aircraft is captained by industry veteran George Harpole (below).

Elite Air has added a Legacy 600 and a second Citation X to its fleet in Houston, Texas. The aircraft is captained by industry veteran George Harpole (below).

Elite Air has added two more aircraft based in Houston, Texas, to its charter certificate. A newly refurbished Legacy 600 became available for charter in October, and a second Houston-based Citation X joined the company’s portfolio this month. The new heavy and super-midsize jets join the Citation X Elite Air added in August at William P. Hobby Airport.

“Growing our fleet in the heart of the country provides an excellent complement to our extensive capabilities on the East Coast,” Elite Air Marketing Director AJ Becker said. “We can now cover more U.S. states than ever before.”

The Legacy 600 offers passengers the ultimate in flexibility with three separate cabin zones, free wireless internet and a class-leading, 1,000-pound capacity luggage compartment. The aircraft is considered by many to be the most cost effective jet in its class, while offering outstanding operational performance by leveraging its high payload capacity, steep approach and high altitude landing and takeoff capabilities.

“It’s the best bang for the buck,” said Captain George Harpole, who has nearly 5,000 hours in type. “And this particular aircraft is absolutely perfect. It’s outfitted to the nines.”

Harpole brings nearly two decades of experience in both the airlines and charter to the Elite Air team. The veteran will be joined in the cockpit by Captain Jared Wilds and First Officer Brandon Fletcher, the three-man crew allowing for greater charter availability and long-distance flight capability.

Other features of the Houston-based Legacy 600 include 3,400 nautical miles of range, seating for up to 13 passengers, unlimited free wireless internet access and talk and text, cashmere carpeting throughout, interior and exterior refurbishment in 2013-14, iPads and Bose headsets at every seat, more than 200 movies and a custom espresso maker.

The new super-midsize Citation X, which cruises at speeds up to 700 mph (Mach 0.92), offers a nonstop range of 3,750 miles at 51,000 feet max cruising altitude, a 30 x 5.5 x 6-foot cabin and 82 cubic feet of pressurized baggage space, was recently refurbished and has an immaculate maintenance record, according to Captain William Van Scoyoc. Scoyoc has more than 4,000 hours in the aircraft and more than 10,000 hours of total time.

“The beauty of this aircraft is she is reliable, and she holds a number of records for short runway landings and nonstop 135 flights,” Van Scoyoc said. “We’ve done a North Atlantic crossing in three hours and 10 minutes.”

Van Scoyoc, a former military pilot who is dual rated in helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, will be joined in the cockpit by Matt Prince. He said a third pilot will be brought on in the near future so the crew can fly longer trips.

One of the greatest advantages to the Citation, according to Van Scoyoc, is its charter friendly owner, who’s willing to reschedule his own trips to accommodate customers.

“He is real big on existing customers and repeat business,” Van Scoyoc said. “He wants to make sure to take care of each customer.”

Global Gets Refurb, Free Wi-Fi

The Global 5000, shown here with the Elite Air-managed Lear 40, is the largest aircraft in the company’s charter fleet.

The Global 5000, shown here with the Elite Air-managed Lear 40, is the largest aircraft in the company’s charter fleet.

The Global 5000, the largest aircraft in the Elite Air management fleet, is currently undergoing an extensive interior and exterior refurbishment. When the aircraft emerges in October, it will look like new and feature several upgraded amenities, like free domestic wireless internet access.

“The Global has long been a standard of our fleet,” Elite Air CEO Gray Gibbs said. “With unrivaled value for its range, comfort and speed, we’re proud to now roll it out with a complete facelift and more functionality.”

The Global has been unavailable for charter for several months while undergoing the extensive renovation and standard maintenance inspection. But Sales Director AJ Becker said the upgrades will be worth the wait.

“This is one of the finest airframes in the world,” he said. “It’s been difficult not being able to charter ours for so long, but it truly deserves nothing but the best treatment available in the industry.”

Bombardier’s Global 5000 offers more space and better performance than almost any aircraft in its class. Passengers can enjoy non-stop capabilities from continental Europe to the U.S. West Coast at unmatched comfort. The aircraft boasts six fully reclining/berthable seats, a berthable divan and a four-seat conference table. In addition to unlimited wireless internet access, the Elite Air Global’s amenities include a SATCOM and Iridium-based telephone system, a galley touchscreen control monitor, six individual seat monitors with DVD/CD capability, espresso maker, oven, microwave, fully enclosed lavatory and more.

Elite Air Completes Latest Argus Audit

Elite Air recently completed its biannual ARGUS certification audit and annual training program, this time through making several changes that CEO Gray Gibbs said were intended to make the proceeding more comprehensive.

“We tried to involve a greater number of people in each step of the process this year,” Gibbs said. “For example, instead of a traditional emergency response drill conducted by the people who would be involved, we went through the emergency response procedures step by step, with almost every member of the company included in the conference.”

In addition to its biannual third-party audit to ensure it meets the highest industry standards, Elite Air completes annual drills as part of its safety management system, which is not required for operations but is an industry best practice.

“This year, everyone was involved,” Gibbs said. “In addition to myself, our director of maintenance and our pilots, we brought in each of our dispatchers and our sales and accounting team—everyone. I thought it went very well, and our FAA consultant agreed.”

Elite Air has received platinum ARGUS certification following each of the audits it has completed since its founding in 2001. ARGUS International Inc., an aviation services company that provides a proprietary aircraft charter operator rating and due diligence program, extracts, filters and vets data on charter operators around the world to determine the best of the best. The company categorizes each charter operation it analyzes in one of five categories: not rated, does not qualify, gold, gold-plus or platinum. Fewer than 100 operations worldwide typically achieve the platinum certification on a year-to-year basis.

New Accountant Joins Elite Air Ranks

Hermina Setkic graduated from the University of South Florida with degrees in accounting and finance after moving to the United States from Bosnia in 1996. She earned her CPA license in 2014.

Hermina Setkic graduated from the University of South Florida with degrees in accounting and finance after moving to the United States from Bosnia in 1996. She earned her CPA license in 2014.

Elite Air recently welcomed a new accountant, Hermina Setkic, to its administrative team after saying goodbye to longtime employee Cristine Davis.

“Cristine was a wonderful asset to our company, so we did not take the job of finding a new in-house accountant lightly,” Elite Air CEO Gray Gibbs said.

Gibbs described Setkic as a go-getter with a knack for numbers and willingness to jump into aviation. Born in Bosnia, Setkic moved to the United States in 1996 in the wake of the Balkan War. Her family made its home in Florida, where she attended the BETA Magnet Program at Gibbs High School and the University of South Florida. Setkic received a bachelor’s degree in accounting in 2008 and another bachelor’s, this time in finance, in 2009. She began working in public accounting later that year and received her CPA license in 2014. “In my spare time I enjoy traveling, good books and spending time with family and friends,” she said.

Taking over as Elite Air’s senior accountant, Setkic will provide each of the company’s clients with monthly financial reports, which include an accounting of pilot expenses, maintenance fees, fuel costs, landing fees, catering charges, contract employee wages (pilots, cabin servers, etc.) and charter revenues. The job requires extreme attention to detail and high-level organization, Gibbs said.

“The amount of work that goes into all the expenses that occur and providing owners with complete packages about what the airplane is earning and expensing, all the way down to the smallest expenditure, is a lot of work,” he said. “The package is over 100 pages for each owner.”

After eight years producing Elite Air’s financial reports, Davis is relocating to Texas, home to her husband’s new employer. “We will certainly miss Cristine and know she will do well in her future endeavors,” Gibbs said.

Second Crewmember Added to King Air Cockpit

Elite Air’s Tampa-based King Air 200 is now available for charter with two crewmembers, as First Officer Tim Johnson joins captain Jim Price in the cockpit. The aircraft is also available with only one pilot, based on customer preferences, according to Elite Air Sales Director AJ Becker.

“For many of our customers, particularly charter brokers, it’s essential that the aircraft be available with two pilots,” he said. “This makes our King Air turboprop option more versatile for customers looking for good value on short trips.”

The King Air 200, which has become one of the most prolific and successful business aircraft in the world, can seat up to nine passengers (Elite Air’s is currently configured for eight), cruises at nearly 300 knots, can climb to 35,000 feet and has a range of nearly 2,000 miles. Plus, its cabin is as quiet and comfortable as any light jet on the market. Based at Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport (BKV), the aircraft is in close proximity to Tampa International, St. Pete-Clearwater and Albert Whitted airports.

Newly Refinished Citation X Available for Charter

The super midsize is based at William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) in Houston, Texas, and can take up to nine passengers anywhere in the country and beyond.

The super midsize is based at William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) in Houston, Texas, and can take up to nine passengers anywhere in the country and beyond.

Elite Air has made another fleet addition—this time it’s a newly refurbished Citation X based at William P. Hobby airport in Houston.

The super-midsize jet, which cruises at speeds up to 700 mph (mach 0.92) and offers a nonstop range of 3,750 miles, was completely redone both inside and out in late 2014. The Cessna Citation X is commonly considered the world’s fastest business jet.

“We always say we are going to be the fastest thing between Houston and New York, and that is the honest truth,” Captain Richard Byrd said.

The Citation X offers a wide, spacious interior and is appointed with leather seating, serving stations and unlimited free domestic internet access. The jet’s two-man crew is fully Argus approved. Additional highlights of the aircraft include satellite phone, cell phone talk and text, Jet Jukebox for movies and music, club seating for eight, work and dining tables, a 51,000 feet max cruising altitude, a 30 x 5.5 x 6-foot cabin, and 82 cubic feet of pressurized baggage space.

Byrd, who has more than 6,000 hours of total time and several hundred hours in type, will be joined in the cockpit by First Officer Jason Williams. Byrd said the opportunity to put the Citation on the Elite Air certificate was just what the crew needed to keep the aircraft flying. Since completing their check ride on Aug. 3, Byrd and Williams have been in the air or on the road about 75% of the time.

“This aircraft basically sells itself when it comes to charter,” Elite Air Sales Director AJ Becker said. “It offers all the performance and amenities our brokers and private customers have come to expect in our fleet—and it’s not hard on the eyes.”

Communications Department Creates New Management Proposal Package

The Elite Air communications department recently created a new information packet that describes its management services at a glance. If you’ve ever wanted to know more about what Elite Air can do for its clients, email charter@eliteair.com for a copy of this six-page document.

“We have so many people come to us to discuss our management services and are willing to speak directly with each and every one of those prospective clients,” Elite Air Communications Director Shea Gibbs said. “But some aircraft owners want something in writing so they can see the benefits of our services in black and white. Now they can have that.”

The new and improved Elite Air Aircraft Management Proposal includes a summary of Elite Air’s services, a description of its industry leading management contract terms, an overview of the Elite Air team, and customer testimonials. A customized document has been developed for some of the most popular business jets in the world, and each can be further customized for interested parties.

“I’ve always believed our product speaks for itself,” Elite Air CEO Gray Gibbs said. “This is the latest documentation of that product, and we want as many people to see it as possible.”

Email charter@eliteair.com to receive a customized Management Proposal today.

Email charter@eliteair.com to receive a customized Management Proposal today.

Elite Air-Managed Hawker 800 Moves to Florida

The Hawker 800 brings a new midsize option to Elite Air’s Florida-based charter customers.

The Hawker 800 brings a new midsize option to Elite Air’s Florida-based charter customers.

The Elite Air-managed Hawker 800 formerly based in Van Nuys, Calif., will be returned to the company’s charter fleet sporting a new paint job and interior on June 13, this time based at St. Petersburg-Clearwater Airport. The aircraft will give Elite Air’s customers in the Southeast and beyond a desirable midsize option that seats up to eight passengers and has a range of 2,900 miles.

“It’s great to have the Hawker available for charter again at this critical time,” Elite Air Sales Director AJ Becker said. “We have really focused on meeting the growing light jet demand we’ve been experiencing in the past six months, and this aircraft will give our East Coast customers an option that falls directly between our extensive light options and our one-of-a-kind Challenger 350 super midsize.”

The Hawker 800A with the XPR upgrade offers increased stability over its predecessor and more efficient operations. The aircraft is capable of 447 knots at 37,000 feet. For long-range flights, it operates best at 400 knots at 39,000 feet.

“I think it is a fantastic airplane—very stable and comfortable,” said Tom Rissmiller, a veteran captain who’s been hired to lead the new Hawker crew. “And its range is good for that size airplane.” Indeed, the 800XPR is capable of coast-to-coast flights at industry-leading values.
Rissmiller, who has more than 15,000 total hours and more than 5,000 hours in Hawkers, will be joined in the cockpit by first officer John Ditwiler.

Rissmiller, who’s in the process of selling fixed-base operation Bay Air at Albert Whitted Airport, has long known Elite Air CEO Gray Gibbs through the aviation community.

“We’ve given Elite Air charters, and Elite Air has passed many charters to us,” he said of the relationship. “We’ve worked together for many years."