Atlanta, Georgia-based fractional start up Volato has acquired aircraft management company Gulf Coast Aviation (GCA), a fixture in the Houston, Texas private aviation market for the past 25 years.
GCA is strategically located at Atlantic Aviation, an FBO at William P Hobby International airport in Houston. The combined companies will serve a larger share of the North American business aviation market.
GCA is rated as ARGUS Platinum and IS-BAO Stage III, which are awarded only to aviation companies who have demonstrated operational excellence through successful implementation of best safety practices relative to their operations and maintenance, with safety management activities fully integrated into their culture. Its experience with charter and aircraft management for owners involves everything from King Air turboprops to ultra-long range large cabin jets.
GCA's mission to provide first-class service in all areas of aviation aligns with Volato's mission to provide the best experience for its owners and employees. Volato will retain all GCA employees, reinforcing its commitment to industry-specific customer experience while adding to its extensive aviation expertise.
"We look forward to supporting the existing managed fleet and welcoming new aircraft owners to our fleet division," says Volato co-founder and CEO Matt Liotta. "And we are thrilled to integrate the passion and experience of each and every GCA employee into the Volato family."
Volato's goal is to have operational bases across the continental US so its HondaJet fractional owners do not pay repositioning fees.
"Having a base in Houston is important to the vision and growth of Volato as it's the second busiest market for private aviation in the country, and we look forward to introducing our HondaJet fleet to GCA's extensive loyal customer base," adds co-founder and CRO Nicholas Cooper. "Houston adds to our existing bases in Atlanta, Baltimore, St Augustine, Fort Lauderdale and Carlsbad, so this acquisition gets us closer to our goal."
A further benefit is that owners in Volato's fractional programme and its charter customers now have access to a larger charter fleet.
GCA founders Steve and Debbie Holmes are retiring, and say: "We are grateful for GCA's loyal customers, vendors and employees who have all been indispensable in making Gulf Coast Aviation a success. When we met the Volato team, we were very impressed by their leadership, unique business model, passion for delivering the best customer experience and how they treat their employees. We knew our customers and employees would be in good hands. We are confident that Volato is the right custodian for our company and team. We are excited to see GCA grow and evolve as part of the Volato family."