LAPORTE | His experience as a pilot for a major U.S. airlines and as aircraft charter company owner and operator gives Eric Hull the ideal background to run his new business, Corporate Flight Advisors.
Hull and his wife, Amy Black, a former military and commercial airline pilot, opened the aircraft charter business a year ago.
“The entity I operated from 2001 was mostly aircraft sales and some leasing,” Hull said. “This last year I changed focus to aircraft charter brokering. We advise clients and marry them with an operator.”
The company provides concierge service for business jet charters, executive jet charter, private jet rentals or private aircraft charters. It also offers translation, security services as well as air ambulance and air cargo.
The business offers something a single air carrier can’t: the ability to orchestrate any size charter to anywhere in the world, Hull said.
“Single operators (such as an airline or aircraft leaser) are basically restricted to one market,” he said. “We can serve markets everywhere. We have the capability to service the client who wants to fly on a low budget in a prop airplane from Chicago to Springfield, to fly 14 people from Rockford to Dubai non-stop, and the ability to move 150 people on nine separate trips to from Jacksonville, Fla., to London.
Although Hull, who has a bachelor's degree in aeronautical studies, more than 12,000 total flight hours and 15 years management experience, he still pilots a Boeing 737 to locations in the states, the Caribbean and Mexico.
He hopes that eventually will change.
“I have flexibility and lots of time between assignments for the airline,” he said. "I hope to make that my secondary career and work on this venture full time and even wave the airlines at some point.”
Black, who is fluent in Russian and Italian, has a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering, a master's in aeronautical science and currently is working on a doctorate degree in aeronautics as well as working full time for Corporate Flight Advisors.
The couple invested about $20,000 of their saving in the business, money they have already recouped, Hull said.
Corporate Flight Advisors' main clients are Fortune 500 companies, professional sports agents and athletes, and the mining and oil exploration industries.
Although there is a lot of competition for business, Hull said the charter business and the business aviation community doesn’t do a fantastic job of marketing.
“Getting out there makes a difference,” he said. “We have good references and we encourage prospective clients to contact and talk to them.”