Paynode helps Leviate Air Group grow

May 29, 2018

“Paynode takes so much stress away. Using Paynode is simply a no-brainer”

– Luis Barros, founder and chief executive officer, Leviate Air Group (formely Horizon Air Group)

The Customer
With a strong reputation for integrity, Leviate Air Group offers business aviation services from charter brokerage to aircraft sales, acquisition, management and operation.

The Challange
To operate, and expand, with maximum financial efficiency and minimal stress in a highly competitive market.

The Solution
Introduce the benefits of Paynode to ensure rapid and secure customer payment transactions.

The Result
Transactions using Paynode allow Leviate Air Group to work with unprecedented financial ease and security.

Product used:
Paynode, Avinode Marketplace,TripManager and SchedAero

Founded in 2014, and headquartered in Dallas (Texas), Leviate Air Group rapidly built a strong reputation for business aviation charter brokerage. In the summer of 2017, with a move that captured major industry attention, Leviate added aircraft operation to the company’s services, buying operator Starbase Jet (now rebranded as Leviate Jet Management). Today, therefore, Leviate Air Group offers business aviation services from charter brokerage to aircraft sales, acquisition, management and operation.

Luis Barros, founder and chief executive officer of Leviate Air Group, says: “With my background and experience in business aviation, I make sure we focus on operational and safety best practice for every charter trip we provide. We’re thorough and we double-check details. Our reputation for integrity and for building strong relationships with customers is very important to us.” The company’s clients range from finance and oil executives to entertainment stars.

Introducing Paynode – a fast, secure and transparent way to pay for charter flights – when the platform was launched in 2016 was an easy decision for Leviate Air Group. The company was already using the Avinode Group’s online Marketplace for buying and selling air charter, the TripManager sales management system and the SchedAero flight operations system. Now, through Paynode, Leviate Air Group can process payments more easily and rapidly than ever before.

Leviate Air Group currently handles around 35% of customer payments through credit card transactions (against 65% of customer payments through wire bank transfer transactions). Paynode’s partnership with leading credit card provider American Express therefore means the benefits of Paynode can be applied to a very significant proportion of Leviate Air Group’s business.

“Using Paynode to process credit card transactions is so much better than the traditional methods,” says Barros, “and we’re really looking forward to the addition of wire bank transfer transactions to Paynode.”

Payment security
With the high operating costs of business aviation flights, and the tight profit margins, air charter companies naturally want to avoid any uncertainty or delay over payments.

“We feel much more confident about transactions when we know Paynode is monitoring payment security for us,” says Barros.

Paynode allows Leviate’s team to focus on quickly arranging client flights without the traditional frustration of slow ‘due diligence’ procedures, such as checking hard copies or scans of customer credit card details and photographic identification documents.

“Our sales team really appreciate the fact Paynode’s automation reduces their paperwork,” says Barros. “Just as pilots hate not flying, salespeople hate not selling: they want to spend their time engaging with their customers, and they have more time to do that as Paynode takes care of the admin for them.

Easy transition
But was the transition to Paynode difficult, after many years using established payment processes? “As an industry, I think business aviation was so accustomed to the old ways that we didn’t realize we needed Paynode,” says Barros. “We just assumed we had to process payments the way we always had. But as soon as we made the change here at Leviate, Paynode made perfect sense to us. It’s like that moment you realize you don’t need a telephone landline anymore because you can use the internet. You realize everything has moved forward. Paynode just feels natural to us now. The old-fashioned ways of processing credit card payments in business aviation simply aren’t good enough anymore.”

Do you need a lot of training to use Paynode though? Barros says: “Not at all. You can put anyone in front of Paynode and they will intuitively know how to use the system. But if you do have any questions, the customer support is tremendous.”

The advantages of integration
“The biggest benefits,” says Barros, “come when you use Paynode alongside other products from the Avinode Group.” Users of TripManager or SchedAero, for example, can create and send pre-populated customer payment requests – using Paynode but within TripManager or SchedAero. Everything can be done through one platform with just a few clicks. There’s no need to re-enter data, which saves time and minimises the risk of errors. And there’s no need to leave TripManager or SchedAero to track payments.

“Paynode takes so much stress away,” concludes Barros. “Using Paynode is simply a no-brainer. Brokers like to complain about change, but even we can’t complain about the Avinode Group.”