““[Bill Gates] has been historically one of my best supporters…One of my favorite e-mails he ever sent me…I proposed this crazy project. And he sent back this two-line response: ‘This has got to be the craziest thing you’ve ever suggested. Please proceed.’” ”
Avantair Launches Block Charter Membership Program
Avantair, which bills itself as "the only publicly traded, standalone fractional operator," is now offering "The Axis Club" membership program for a one-time fee, which starts at $75,000. Members "can access blocks of  flight hours at a locked-in rate with no restrictions on travel days," said Avantair senior executive vice president Matthew Doyle. The club, he said, bridges the gap between fractional-ownership and time-card programs. Avantair of Clearwater, Fla., is the sole North American provider of fractional shares in the Piaggio Avanti. It operates 52 of the aircraft and has another 57 on order for deliveries through 2013.