Approach And Expertise Attracts First-Time Aircraft Owners
The impressive growth Summit Aviation, Inc. experienced over the past 18 months continues with the addition of a brand new 2022 Embraer Phenom 300E to its charter fleet. With an unmistakable ramp presence, this latest addition follows an incredibly strong year in 2021 that saw the addition of three 2021 Embraer Phenom 300Es to its charter fleet, achieving the largest fleet of Phenom 300 E model aircraft worldwide. With another Phenom 300E set to be delivered from the factory this July and another two next year, this values-based company’s growth and stellar reputation continue to climb.
Upholding the Standard
Operating nation-wide, this newest aircraft joined the rest of Summit’s floating charter fleet just a few days after delivery. “We’re very excited,” says Ben Walton, Summit’s President and founder, “It allows us to provide our customers with expanded options and better coverage.” Known for their modern fleet of newer, low-time aircraft, this addition continues to uphold the standard Summit’s customers have come to expect from their aircraft.
Headquartered at the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport in Bozeman, Montana, Summit Aviation is a comprehensive aviation company specializing in Embraer products and operating nine Phenom 300 aircraft as part of its floating charter fleet. “The Phenom 300 is really perfect for our operations,” notes Walton. “It not only has great range, but its performance is excellent for mountainous airports, which we go in and out of all the time.”
In addition to facilitating the acquisition of several Phenom 300Es for clients direct from the factory, over the past few years Summit has also facilitated the purchase of several Embraer Praetor aircraft, some of which reside in its managed fleet. “After FlexJet, we have the next largest managed Praetor fleet in the US,” notes Walton.
Due to Summit’s profound growth, the company is in the process of constructing a new headquarters building on its home field at the Bozeman airport. “We’ve definitely outgrown our current space,” says Walton. “It’s very exciting to see all the growth and where we’re headed as a company.” Walton credits his company’s continued growth to several important factors: company culture, quality, and customer service. “There are a lot of different ways to grow,” he continues, “How you go about that makes all the difference in the world.”
At the core of Summit’s success are the twin pillars of the company’s culture and the quality of its people. Centered around their core values, Summit’s culture is a living entity that serves as a filter for every decision, from who they hire, to what aircraft owners they’re going to partner with.
Perhaps one of the most unique facets of Summit’s growth is the way in which it has happened organically. Unlike most aviation companies that rely heavily on advertising and investment capital to bring in new clients, the main contributor to Summit’s expansion has been through referrals and word of mouth. “We’re very passionate about providing extraordinary customer service and exceeding the expectations of our clients,” says Walton. “We love taking care of our aircraft owners and they’re happy to tell their friends about the experience. Positive referrals are a huge part of how we’ve come to have the largest fleet of new Phenom 300Es.”
One other aspect of Summit’s operations that appeals to discerning clients and aircraft owners is their ability to source highly skilled professional pilots through their university flight school program in Bozeman, Montana. “We have the opportunity to train pilots on how they should operate from day one, and are able to observe how they conduct themselves, not only as a pilot, but also as a person. It ends up serving as a several year interview where we are able see if they are fully aligned with our Core Values,” explains Walton. “We get to know them for the next few years as an SIC before they’re eligible to upgrade to Captain. By the time they get to that point, it's a comfortable and seamless transition for everyone, and it’s awesome to have the kind of confidence in your pilots that we have. In turn, we get to pass that confidence on to our owners and our charter customers, and that’s not something you can put a price on.”
Over two decades since its creation, Summit’s singular pilot and plane has multiplied into nearly 20 modern flight school aircraft, an extensive charter fleet of Phenom 300 aircraft, a large managed fleet, a successful sales and acquisitions department, and a staff of over 80 highly qualified professionals.
About Summit Aviation
Founded in 2001, Summit Aviation, Inc. is a comprehensive aviation center specializing in aircraft sales, charter operations, aircraft management, and pilot training with retention. The company is one of the Nation’s premier charter operators and has become a leader in the general aviation safety community.