The New Jet Set: The Rise of Concierge Transportation

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Though living in a busy city like Los Angeles comes with many perks (weather, business, culture, food), there is one major problem that almost everyone that has spent some time in the city is aware of: traffic.

Throughout the day, and especially in the morning and early afternoon, drivers get stuck in traffic jams and ultimately end up spending hours in their car. For many of them who have busy schedules working as business managers, client advisors or private office executives, these hours can be of crucial importance, or as Benjamin Franklin said in 1784: “Time is money.” 

However, there are certain companies that offer a solution to what seems to be an omnipresent problem in Southern California.

Helinet Aviation Services is a diversified helicopter service provider for a wide range of markets such as VIP charter, as well as offering aerial services to the motion picture, commercial production, electronic newsgathering, utility and medical industries.

Allison Rakun, Senior Vice President of Business Development and Marketing at Helinet says that the company offers executive charter transportation and caters to celebrities, public figures, and high net worth individuals.

“Our typical clients are people that don’t have time to sit in traffic,” Rakun says.

The family owned business that was founded in 1987 and operates from Van Nuys airport, currently has 20 helicopters and 45 pilots. The company is well known throughout the industry for its impeccable safety record and white glove customer service. It is run by CEO Kathryn Purwin, widow of the legendary pilot Alan Purwin, who participated in the filming of many Hollywood blockbusters (Pearl Harbor, Transformers, The Hunger Games.)

Helinet also offers turnkey aircraft management services for helicopters that are owned by third party individuals, where they don’t have to directly manage the maintenance or staffing.

“We take care of everything: the fuel, the pilots, the maintenance, and making sure the helicopter stays in pristine condition,” Rakun says. “And depending on the management deal, when the owner is not using the aircraft, we will utilize it for charter, and sometimes air medical flights, making money for them.”

Rakun also says that insurance is an important aspect of their work and they have chosen insurance agency Marsh & McLennan along with their affiliate Momentous Insurance Brokerage, Inc. to provide their services to Helinet.

T.J. Johnson, a Client Executive and Risk Advisor at Marsh & McLennan, says that they love working with Helinet not only because it is a prestigious and well-run company, but also because their offering is so unique and specialized.

“In the aviation industry the insurance market is extremely tough,” Johnson says. “We need to understand the market to go out and navigate the best premiums, conditions, deductibles and terms for our clients.”

Johnson also says that Marsh & McLennan and their affiliate Momentous Insurance Brokerage, Inc. does everything in their power to protect companies like Helinet and help them with all the safety protocols and risk management procedures to minimize the chances for any dangers.

Rakun also adds that recently, due to the situation with the coronavirus, a lot of people that have previously not considered concierge travel decided to give it a try.

“We have seen people who typically wouldn’t take helicopter transportation come to us because they are looking to travel private and not have to worry about sitting next to a stranger,” Rakun says.

In the News:

📈 Forbes reported this week on a comparison of software available to family offices in 2020. One outcome of the research was “standardized categories” aimed at helping family offices understand a provider’s offerings and limitations.

🎦 Netflix announced this week that they will triple office space in London. In total, the London office space will near 100,000 square feet. This decision was made partially due to the success of many of Netflix’s UK productions such as “The Crown,” “Rebecca,” and “Too Hot To Handle.”

🎭 Broadway theaters announced this week that they will remain closed until at least May of 2021. Theaters have been closed since March, with nearly 97,000 workers who rely on Broadway remaining out of work, and an economic impact of about $14.8 billion to the city.


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