Entrepreneur starts local jet operation

As major airlines continue to struggle with cost cutbacks, flight delays and onerous security requir

As major airlines continue to struggle with cost cutbacks, flight delays and onerous security requirements, local entrepreneur Frank Figliomeni has started a new private jet air travel service operating out of Albany International Airport.

The private company is called Javian Jet Traveler. It does not own jets, but it sells travel packages on them out of the Million Air hangar in Albany, the Richmore Aviation hangar at the Schenectady County Airport and the North America Aviation hangar at the Saratoga County Airport.

“The commercial airline industry is just continuing to go into a real mess. The industry is just getting worse and worse and more expensive, and we’ve discovered there is a niche in people flying privately,” Figliomeni said. “It’s a bit of an elite service, but we’re getting a lot of calls about it. We’re getting a lot of people to fly with it.”

Javian Jet Traveler operates out of a small office in the Million Air hangar at Albany International Airport. The company grew out of Professor Java’s Coffee Sanctuary & Concierge Service Company, which operates a coffee wholesale and retail operation on Wolf Road and does all of the catering for Million Air at Albany International Airport.

Airport Authority Spokesman Doug Myers said Javian Jet Traveler is the only company he is aware of in the Capital Region that is offering a travel service for private jets.

“This type of business draws additional aircraft to the airport. Anytime you upgrade your level of service, [which] I think Javian has done … you’re moving in a very positive direction,” Myers said.

Figliomeni said he believes his operation is the first of its kind in the U.S. He said he’s been selling private jet aviation packages for the past six months but researched his business model for more than a year before going to the airport authority with his proposal.

Although most of Javian’s business is done locally, Figliomeni said his company has compiled a database that includes information from more than 50 private jet plane companies around the United States. Javian uses that data to determine where private jets may have capacity to handle passengers, such as “dead legs,” which is empty space on return flights, and uses that information to sell flight packages to customers needing service in any part of the United States.

“In the private jet industry, unless these planes are flying [with paying passengers], they’re losing money. If your plane is sitting, it’s losing money,” he said.

Figliomeni said flying by private jet is more expensive than most people can afford, but he said members of the upper middle class who travel in groups can afford short flight packages.

“You can go to Martha’s Vineyard for the weekend for about $3,000 … in a twin turboprop [plane]. For three couples, which we’ve done in the past, you’re talking about $1,000 a couple to go,” he said.

Categories: Business


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