By Karen Di Piazza
Private owners of the Eclipse 500 very light jet have a new company they can turn to for complete management services. In October, jetAVIVA launched service at Van Nuys Airport (VNY) in California. Cyrus Sigari, 25, president of jetAVIVA, says it’s no coincidence that the company’s hangar is located next door to Eclipse Aviation’s service center at VNY; both are tenants of Castle & Cooke Aviation.
Sigari and Ben Marcus, 25, CEO of jetAVIVA, co-founded the company last year. They also own the parent company, Lan Tien Ventures, LLC.
“Meaning ‘jet for life,’ jetAVIVA is the world’s first VLJ management company for EA500 private aircraft owners; we provide every service an owner expects,” Sigari said. “A lot of orders for the Eclipse jet come from private owners, many of whom aren’t pilots or aren’t pilots yet qualified to fly their Eclipse VLJ solo. Our company provides pilots, flight planning, dispatching and pre-delivery acceptance on behalf of EA500 owners. Since we started offering our acceptance service, we’ve accepted 75 percent of all Eclipse jets on behalf of private owners. We started providing the service on serial number 19.”
He said Eclipse has referred a couple of clients to jetAVIVA. Perhaps that’s because the airframer is familiar with Sigari and Marcus; both are former Eclipse Aviation employees.
“I worked for Eclipse in the early days, first as an engineer and then as a salesperson,” Sigari said. “Ben started out with Eclipse as a salesperson and then became a flight test engineer; he’s type rated in the Eclipse 500. We know the product very well, so it makes sense to private Eclipse 500 owners that our company should manage their aircraft.”
He said customers of jetAVIVA are comfortable with the company’s knowledge base, and that they can tell the company runs harmoniously—a sign of good management.
“Ben and I grew up together; we’ve been best friends since childhood,” Sigari said. “We attended high school and then college together. We vowed that someday, somehow, we’d own an aviation company together. We just didn’t know it would be a management company for private Eclipse jet owners, but we love doing what we do.”
Sigari said Marcus is a natural when it comes to his role as CEO, dealing with the day-to-day operations, and that he became president because he likes sales.
“I like the excitement of expanding our operations and I like dealing with our customers,” Sigari said. “I guess you’d call me the front person.”
Sigari and Marcus saved their money since childhood, all the while planning to own a company when they became adults.
“We have no bank financing at all,” he said. “We did this on our own; this is our money. We’ve invested wisely. Finally, we have a company those owners of the EA500 need.”
The company manages three EA500s at present.
“One aircraft is at VNY and the other two jets are being used at Eclipse for pilot training,” he explained. “Right now we have four pilots, but we need more and we’re accepting resumes. Currently we have three customers, private owners of the EA500, who are undergoing flight training to obtain their type ratings.”
He said that once owners complete training and obtain their type ratings in the Eclipse jet, they’re allowed to fly solo.
“Owners who don’t have their type rating yet can sit in the left seat of their EA500, but our company pilots fly as captain,” Sigari said. “That means that our pilots are responsible for the flights as certified flight instructors. Within a year, more than 12 EA500s will be delivered that jetAVIVA will manage. We’ll need at least 24 pilots working for our company by then.”
He said the 12 EA500s are dependent upon Eclipse’s ability to produce and deliver aircraft on time.
“We’ll arrange for insurance on behalf of private EA500 owners as well,” Sigari said. “Insurance is a very important aspect of owning your own jet. We also can take care of RVSM (reduced vertical separation minimum) and MEL (minimum equipment list) approvals for our customers.”
Pilots need a letter of authority from the Federal Aviation Administration to fly above 29,000 feet to meet RVSM approvals.
“Essentially, we take care of all of the preliminary requirements for our customers, ranging from training and manuals to acting as the communication headquarters between Eclipse and our customers,” Sigari said. “This makes our services unique.”
He added that as more non-pilots take delivery of Eclipse jets, jetAVIVA’s business would significantly grow. Sigari envisions the company’s growth to expand throughout the U.S. But such goals and dreams aren’t limited to the company’s current offerings. Sigari says jetAVIVA is planning to take delivery of Eclipse 500s in the near future for its Florida-based operation.
“We expect this to happen within a couple of months,” he said.
But Sigari and Marcus have bigger plans for jetAVIVA.
“In the future, we plan to operate a FAR Part 135 on-demand air charter company,” Sigari said. “It’s not a quick process; we’ve been working on submitting required documentation to the FAA for the last year.”
With all the Eclipse 500s managed by jetAVIVA and with more on the way, he said it only makes sense to become a charter operator.
“We’re here to stay; this is our passion,” he vowed. “We’ve invested a lot of money into this business and we’re dedicated and proud to provide first-class, full-service management to our customers.”
For more information, visit [http://www.jetaviva.com].