By: JENNIFER ALSEVER
Targeting an unexpected market segment (jet owners) and cutting out a huge startup cost (buying planes), Magellan Jets has seen its business really take off.
As the 2008 recession decimated the private-jet-rental industry, Joshua Hebert saw opportunity in all those empty planes. He and Anthony Tivnan launched Magellan Jets, an aviation broker offering charter flights and membership programs that include 25- to 200-hour buckets of private-jet flight time. A key to the company's success at launch was its guarantee to members that they could book a jet virtually anywhere with just 10 hours' notice. Annual memberships start at $100,000. Revenue grew 1,600 percent in its second year, and the company now guarantees a plane with as little as eight hours' notice. Magellan's continued growth, says Hebert, is the result of cultivating deep vendor relationships and identifying an unexpected customer base.
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