The PlaneSense, Inc. Story
The PlaneSense® program has followed a 3-pronged strategy since its inception in 1996:
- To excel in every aspect of customer service and share owner experiences
- To be the most cost-effective solution for customers seeking point-to-point private air transportation
- To operate from short runways, with the ability to also land and take off from major airports in order to provide customers with a wider range of options than fractional jet operators can offer.
This strategy has been the foundation of success for PlaneSense, which has steadily grown to become a leader in fractional ownership programs. President and CEO George Antoniadis sought to develop an innovative private air travel program that would provide versatile, affordable aircraft ownership. The difference between PlaneSense and future competitors–aside from price–would be the use of a turboprop aircraft.
At that time, Antoniadis considered several options, but neither had the right size or appearance. So, he arranged a visit to Pilatus Aircraft, Ltd. in Stans, Switzerland to view the PC-12, the manufacturer’s new single-engine turboprop model. Antoniadis was convinced that the PC-12 was the airplane for which he had been looking. Its operating characteristics set it apart from every other aircraft he had considered. The PC-12 was modern, fast, and could operate equally well flying in and out of major hubs or unimproved 2,000-ft runways. Antoniadis placed an order in September of 1995, taking delivery of the 20th Pilatus PC-12. It was then that the fractional program took flight.
The PlaneSense® program has achieved steady growth since its inception, and continually exceeds flight benchmarks. More than 300,000 flight operations have been achieved. The PlaneSense® team has developed a program that offers its owners memorable aviation experience combined with a proven commitment to safety, service, and excellence. Participants report enjoying more savings, convenience, and flying hour options as compared to other jet programs.
The Pilatus PC-24 jet is expected to join the PlaneSense® fleet in December 2017. Built on the tremendous success of the Pilatus PC-12 turboprops, the twin-engine turbojet will offer share owners a unique flying experience and ownership opportunities. The PlaneSense® program is the launch customer for the PC-24 jet with a preliminary order for six jets under contract. In the interim, a fleet of Nextant 400XTi twin-engine jets provide high speed and high altitude capability to PlaneSense aircraft share owners.
That is PlaneSense history. Today the PlaneSense® program has grown to be the largest civilian PC12 management company in the world, with over 350 employees, including more than 150 pilots, and a fleet of nearly 40 aircraft. The company is now based in Portsmouth, NH on the site of the former Pease Air Force Base. Constructed in 2007, the state-of-the-art PlaneSense facility includes a 40,000 square foot high-tech maintenance hangar and 44,000 square feet of offices and mechanical shops.
Antoniadis says that every aspect of the PlaneSense® operation—scheduling and dispatch, flight operations, maintenance, training and employment policies—has been designed to produce an outstanding private aircraft management and travel experience. “We live and die by the degree to which we can satisfy our clients,” he says.
Timeline of Success
- 1992 – Alpha Flying, Inc., was founded. Originally based in Norwood, Massachusetts, Alpha Flying, Inc. was founded by George Antoniadis. It served as the corporate entity for the Alpha Flying Club, which provided rental and management of high performance piston and turbine powered general aviation aircraft.
- 1995 – Alpha Flying, Inc. was founded with its first Pilatus PC-12.
- 1996 – The PlaneSense® fractional aircraft ownership program was launched.
- 1998 – The company moved to a facility at Nashua Airport in Nashua, New Hampshire.
- 2000 – The quickly growing company moved to a larger facility at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport in Manchester, New Hampshire.
- 2007 – Alpha Flying, Inc. and the PlaneSense® program moved the company headquarters to its new, custom-built facility, located at Portsmouth International Airport at Pease in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It includes a state-of-the-art 40,000 sq ft hangar with an additional 48,000 sq ft of corporate space.
- 2012 – The company name was changed from Alpha Flying, Inc. to PlaneSense, Inc. on February 1st.
- 2013 – The PlaneSense program takes delivery of the 1200th PC-12 manufactured by Pilatus. It marked the 49th PC-12 received by PlaneSense.
- 2014 – PlaneSense, Inc. places initial order for six Pilatus PC-24 jets.
- 2015 – The PlaneSense program celebrated its 20th anniversary with a fleet of 35 aircraft, including the program’s first jet.
- 2017 – The PlaneSense jet program is officially launched; PlaneSense takes delivery of its 60th PC-12 into the fractional program.
- 2018 – PlaneSense, Inc. takes delivery of the world’s first Pilatus PC-24 jet.