“Trust, but verify. ”
Making helicopter travel more affordable
EvoLux founder Ray Leavitt says he wants to make it easier for you to book a helicopter seat. He has created computerized platforms that let you either reserve the entire helicopter or open up a helicopter you’ve booked to friends or the general public to cut your costs. Leavitt claims to have 200 helicopters enrolled in the system in major metropolitan areas, including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Las Vegas, and Miami. His goal is to get enough helicopters and passengers in the sky to bring down the cost for both.
“My research shows that 781 helicopters are available for charter in the U.S.,” Leavitt says. “That isn’t much when you consider that Sao Paulo, Brazil alone has 450. On average, helicopters in the U.S. fleet fly just 0.81 hours per day, but they have the potential to do six to eight hours. You could open up that market to a huge population if you could make helicopter travel more affordable.”
Today, Leavitt says, the typical charter broker “might get six quotes for a flight and then slap a huge commission on the one that is most competitive. The customer winds up being offered an overpriced flight and the operator loses the booking because the broker got in the middle.”
Leavitt—a former charter broker who speaks from experience—thinks this system is, if not broken, certainly cumbersome for customers
and operators. “From the operator’s viewpoint, putting a quote together takes a lot of time,” he says. “Most are very small businesses.
“Our system calculates where the aircraft is, what the reposition would be, the flight and wait times, the reposition of the aircraft back, and any other fees that go into it,” Leavitt continues. “You can go to our site and have a price quoted with all that included in less than three seconds.”