Kellerstrass Enterprises Profits From its New Light Jet Performance
Based in Ogden, Utah, Kellerstrass Enterprises, Inc. is a family-run firm and leading petroleum distributor not only within Utah, but in Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico and Nevada. Rani Singh discovers how its new Embraer Phenom 100 EV is vital to the company’s business operations.
Kellerstrass Enterprises is not new to Business Aviation. CEO and President Craig Kellerstrass began using a single-engine aircraft in 1998 before an instructor friend suggested it might be a good idea if he flew the airplanes himself. So Craig undertook pilot training and started flying a piston plane before adding a Phenom 100 to the fleet in 2011.
“I started flying single engine,” Craig told AvBuyer. “I enjoy Business Aviation; I enjoy the privacy and convenience of going where I want to go much quicker – it’s been a good tool.
“Our business model is to purchase fuels from the refiners and take the products to the end user or the customers who are in all types of industries: mining, oil and gas, trucking, retail, construction, gasoline stations - we market in seven US states.” The geography Kellerstrass Enterprises serves requires a business aircraft. A notable portion of its market is nestled within mountain ranges, and the Scheduled Airlines do not serve those locations.
It’s because of the geography of these destinations that the company opted to upgrade to a Phenom 100 EV recently.
Offering additional operational capability including increased thrust and improved performance for operations into and out of the hot-and-high airports, the Phenom 100 EV also suited Kellerstrass’ need to transport more passengers from these destinations.
“The new jet gives extra performance at high altitude and high temperatures, which we fly into a lot,” Craig elaborates. “We can be flying to airports at 6,000-7,500ft altitude. On a hot day, at high altitude, the performance is good for our use, and we find the Phenom 100 EV can do what another airplane could not.
“We also decided on a different configuration so we could carry two more passengers. By adding a seventh seat, we can carry eight passengers including the pilot. We like to take as many staff as possible to cover more areas of responsibility on our trips. Previously, we often found ourselves short of one or two seats that we needed.”
Time, Efficiency & Competitive Edge
In total, Kellerstrass has nine centers across three states. “In each of the central locations the average drive time is four and a half to five hours. The average flying time is 35-40 minutes. Instead of my staff having to drive 10 hours for a round-trip by car and do their business, we’ve eliminated the need for overnight stays in hotels and the food expense,” Craig reflects.
“All our flights are between 200 and 1,000 nautical miles – going there and back same-day increases productivity and manpower.
“Our cost to maintain and fuel the Phenom 100 EV is $1,500 per hour – and most of our flights are within that one-hour range.
Making those same flights on the Airlines would come close to $1,000 per person for a round trip – meaning if I take six people on a commercial flight it costs us $6,000. In the business jet we spend $3,000.
“Some days we can do two centers in the same day. Before, that would require a three-day road-trip. We also use the airplane as a tool to get my people safely to locations, more quickly, so they can be more productive and they can get back to the office without the use of company cars.”
Craig also highlights how the business jet enables his company to react to both competitive and customer demands far more quickly. “The airplane is available whenever we need it - my staff can board the Phenom 100 EV and be in a location within 1.5 hours in most cases. We can also be at a customer location for any reason very quickly, which enables us to offer a better customer service.”
One of the aspects of the Phenom 100 EV that impresses Craig the most is its safety performance. “In the mountains we have a lot of winter conditions. In winter time, it can be -10°F and snowing. In some of my locations, there is up to two or three feet of snow on the ground. Runways, for most of January, February or even March have some snow packed on them.”
Unsurprisingly Craig thrives on the challenges that winter flying presents, and admires the braking system of his latest acquisition. “The Phenom 100 EV is much better on snow-packed icy runways. The jet’s speed-brakes and new braking system; it’s a big improvement.”
Thus, with a successful business that demands flying into some of the toughest mountain ranges in the United States, Kellerstrass Enterprises has found the ideal business tool in the Embraer Phenom 100 EV specifically, and Business Aviation generally.
More information from www.embraerexecutivejets.com