4 July, 2012
Harter-Airline Start-Up Inching Closer to Lift-Off After Five Years
Charter-Airline Start-Up Inching Closer to Lift-Off After Five Years
Legacy Travel Club Inc. in Carmel successfully operated their first flight. They have struggled with getting this part right until June 21 when they organised a trip to Mackinac Island, Michigan. The president of the company was pleased with the full booking, which is an indication of what is to come.
This was a real achievement according to Chris Allen, President of Legacy. In addition, Legacy began operations five year back but did not have enough money to pull-off a flight.
It is a company that aims to motivate individuals to register as members with the company. The members can then buy tickets to fly from Indianapolis to other locations. The destinations are likely to be Canada, Mexico, Florida and the Caribbean.
Legacy wants to follow in the footsteps of ATA Airlines or American Trans Air. Similar to what Legacy is doing, ATA, which began operating in the 1970s, required customers to be members. What’s more, Legacy already has 500 members who pay $199 for first year membership for families. Individuals are required to pay $149 for the first year. In addition, the subsequent annual membership fee will be $99.
The end goal is to have at least 9,000 members who will enjoy 295 trips every year. The trips will combine seasonal trips and flights to Florida cities. The cities will include Melbourne, West Palm Beach, St. Petersburg, Fort Lauderdale and Fort Myers. There will also be overnight flights to some destinations in addition to days’ trips.
Legacy plans to share more information about the trips at a launch event which is scheduled to take place on August 11 at Columbia Club, Indianapolis. Furthermore, Legacy wants to be known for deluxe services such as Wi-Fi, meals, roomier seating and non-stop services. Their services will be at par with what is offered in reputable airlines. There is also a focus in providing reliable direct flights from Indianapolis.
Chris Allen and his wife have dedicated time to run Legacy, after abandoning their day jobs when they founded the company. Chris was working at IUPUI before committing to Legacy. He had experience as a mailroom employee but had not tried his hand in entrepreneurship before.
Legacy has experienced changes over the years like moving away from wanting to own and operating an aircraft. In fact, the first flight was courtesy of Miami Air International airline although the company is looking to secure a lasting partnership.
Legacy experienced another challenge in 2012 when their trip to market for St. Thomas did not succeed. The company had to take a step back before setting-up another trip. Similarly, there was a set-back where a planned launch in Louisville in June did not succeed because of low booking for the flight from Louisville to Asheville, North Carolina.
The success in Indianapolis is mainly due to the memories that ATA invokes and makes sells easy for Legacy. They are nostalgic about the kind of services they enjoyed with ATA, something that Louisville does not share. This is the major reason that made Allen abandoned the launch in Louisville until a later date, although financial restrictions also played a part.
In 2012, Legacy further resolved to raise $5.4 million with Amvest Financial Group but only managed $100,000 after Amvest pulled out of the plans.