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Aircraft charter operator acquires Tampa aviation company

Veronica Brezina



Image: Unsplash/Yuri G.

Clearwater aircraft charter management and brokerage firm FlyUSA has acquired Tampa-based aviation company 3B Aviation. 

FlyUSA is one of the country’s leading private aviation companies that provides on-demand private charter flights, aircraft acquisition and management services.

The two entities did not disclose the financial terms of the deal. However, per the agreement, 3B Aviation founder Nick Barrows, a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University who founded 3B Aviation in 2012, has joined FlyUSA as the president of acquisitions and management. The company made the announcement this week. 

FlyUSA’s CEO Barry Shevlin told the St. Pete Catalyst that the company will adsorb 3B Aviation’s team of 10 pilots and the 13 aircraft it manages on behalf of more than 25 private owners. FlyUSA’s current managed fleet includes small to mid-size jets. 

“I’ve known Nick [Barrows] for over 10 years. In fact, he managed the first plane I ever bought,” Shevlin said in a prepared statement. “We are excited at the opportunity to expand our aircraft acquisition and management services on behalf of our more than 700 on-demand charter clients across the country.”

Shevlin said both companies have been on a growth streak. The initial conversations of a merger agreement started last summer. The duo officially executed the deal several months ago. 

“I’ve always been impressed with Barry’s approach at FlyUSA, including using technology to improve customer experiences,” said Barrows, who also serves as a pilot and flight instructor. “Joining the FlyUSA team is a great opportunity – both for myself and for our experienced team of pilots. I believe this merger gives us the opportunity to really offer a much broader range of services to our valued clients.”

FlyUSA is the same group that’s a joint venture partner with Paradise Ventures, which recently gained approval to operate the Clearwater Airpark as the fixed-base operator through a lease with the City of Clearwater

A rendering of the proposed reimagined Clearwater Airpark. Image provided by Paradise Ventures.

FlyUSA and Paradise Ventures plan to pump $2.4 million of capital improvements into the 80-year-old airpark at 1000 N. Hercules Ave.

The improvements include 40,000 square feet of additional corporate hangars. 

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