Ethan Levy, Tidal Jets’ founder and CEO discusses his passion for aviation and how he believes unregulated brokers are impacting the industry
What was your career path to your current role?
I always had a deep love for aviation and an unwavering curiosity about the business world. After completing my education in business management and aviation, I set my sights on exploring the endless possibilities within the aviation industry.
My journey began within the airlines, where I landed a role on the ramp as an agent. My passion and dedication for delivering exceptional experiences to customer satisfaction quickly caught the attention of management. As fulfilling as my time was on the commercial side, I felt an urge to make a more direct impact on people’s lives.
Following my instincts, I made a bold decision to transition into emergency services. Working in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) was an eye-opening experience.
The challenges I faced in high-pressure situations taught me invaluable lessons in quick thinking, resilience, and compassion. Little did I know these experiences would later shape my path in unforeseen ways.
Despite the rewards of EMS, the allure and passion toward the aviation industry never left me. I knew there was more I could contribute, and an entrepreneurial spark ignited within me.
What are the best and less favorable elements of your job?
I have found my position to be both challenging but highly rewarding. I personally love most, if not all, aspects of my job. I thoroughly enjoy my freedom to be creative and seeing that come to life. Witnessing the success, enthusiasm, and achievements that our team has produced in a remarkably short period of time under my direction.
For instance, our recent sponsorship with Liquid I.V. was a great reflection of the hard work and dedication our team has contributed to the company. Of course, working remotely has its own set of challenges, and we do find ourselves constantly on the phone and working long hours to ensure that Tidal Jets continues to improve and succeed.
And while this level of dedication can be draining at times, we know that it’s all for the good of the company. Overall, I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished so far, and I look forward to continuing to lead Tidal Jets into a bright future.
What has been the proudest achievement in your career so far?
To be honest, this question is extremely difficult to answer. Personally, I take immense pride on the website. Instead of paying an individual to format, code, input SEO, and handle Google Console, I taught myself.
Then there’s the Liquid I.V. sponsorship – a huge milestone. To be the first company within the business aviation space supported by Liquid I.V. is a huge deal.
Above all, seeing my team learn, grow, and find their own path within Tidal Jets is an achievement that surpasses any monetary gain. Being able to provide a space in which people are free to take risks and are comfortable doing so is an amazing opportunity.
How do you stand out from your competitors?
Tidal Jets stands out in a multitude of ways. First and foremost, our age and experience. A good two-thirds of my life has been spent studying, working, or researching various aspects of the industry.
Our age affords us the opportunity of catering directly to the market slotted to take over. Social media is a big part of our reach, we have a good idea as to what goes viral and what doesn’t, because we’re the demographic that watches it. We can also implement various initiatives that are forward thinking.
Second, our business model. We focus on providing safe, luxurious, and reasonable charter, we aren’t after making a quick buck. Tidal Jets wants our clients to be comfortable, safe, and valued. We won’t cheap out on ensuring the highest safety standards.
Third, we take risks. There is almost an unspoken method to ensure success in this industry, so many think. A lot of firms will just follow in whatever may work for another company or those that came before. While it may be somewhat effective, there is no initiative to try anything new or fresh – that’s where we come in.
What is the most significant trend currently affecting the business aviation sector?
The most significant trend currently affecting the business aviation sector is the pervasive issue of unregulated brokers who prioritize making quick profits at the expense of their clients. This concerning trend is impacting the industry in several ways, leading to a culture of rushing clients into sales, especially when it comes to aircraft purchases.
One major concern is the lack of regulations governing brokers in the business aviation sector. Without adequate oversight and standards, some brokers are more focused on maximizing their commissions rather than providing genuine value to their clients. This results in a situation where clients may feel pressured into making hasty decisions, without having enough time to consider the complexities and implications of purchasing a high-ticket item like an aircraft.
Clients should indeed be given the space and time to think through their decisions carefully, as buying an aircraft is a significant investment that requires thorough consideration. Rushing clients into sales can lead to regrettable choices and dissatisfaction in the long run. Brokers should prioritize ensuring that their clients have all the necessary information and guidance to make informed decisions at their own pace.
Another concerning issue in the business aviation sector is the prevalence of ‘off-market’ or ‘exclusive’ deals. Brokers often claim to have access to exclusive aircraft listings that are not publicly available, creating a sense of urgency and exclusivity for potential buyers. However, this practice can be misleading, as many of these so-called ‘off-market’ aircraft are not as exclusive as they claim. In fact, it’s not uncommon for multiple brokers to be shopping the same aircraft to different clients, competing for the highest commission.
This ‘game’ among brokers can lead to a lack of transparency and honesty in the buying process. It is essential for brokers to be straightforward and open with their clients about the availability of aircraft on the market. Honesty and reliability are crucial in building trust with clients and fostering a healthy business aviation community.
In order to address these trends and create a more transparent and client-centric business aviation sector, there is a need for increased regulations and standards for brokers. Such regulations should emphasize ethical behavior, transparency, and client protection. Additionally, promoting a culture that values integrity and long-term client relationships over short-term profits can lead to a healthier and more sustainable industry for all stakeholders involved. Clients deserve to have a smooth and informed aircraft purchasing experience, free from unnecessary pressure and misleading practices.
What advice would you give to someone interested in a career in business aviation?
This industry can be very challenging to navigate, things constantly change and you must be ready to pivot at any given moment. Make sure you have a well-rounded scoop on what it is you are looking to do, and don’t be afraid to reach out to others that are doing something similar. Most importantly, believe in yourself and follow regulations.
What does the future hold for Tidal Jets?
The future of Tidal Jets is promising, with a strong foundation built on client-centric services and a commitment to adaptability and innovation. Technological advancements, sustainable practices, enhanced digital experiences, global market expansion, and a focus on security will drive our success. By proactively navigating challenges and seizing opportunities, we will position Tidal Jets as a leader in the private jet brokerage industry, delivering unparalleled luxury, convenience, and safety to our esteemed clients.