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Fort Smith entrepreneur Luis Andrade, owner of Andrade Holdings LLC, has purchased the assets of Fayetteville-based charter company Jett Aircraft. Andrade declined to release financial terms of the deal that was completed in September.
Lance Creamer founded Jett Aircraft in 2011. Creamer is now CEO and co-owner. Andrade is president and co-owner.
“I purchased the business because Jett Aircraft is hands down the most pristine and top-notch company chartering business I’ve ever laid my eyes on, both as a client and now as an owner,” Andrade said, adding that aviation is his “No. 1 passion.”
Andrade acquired seven aircraft in the deal, including Bombardier Learjet 45 and Learjet 40, Cessna Citation Bravo and Encore, Daher TBM 700 and Meridian.
Jett Aircraft, based at Drake Field, has international flight boundaries but is working to offer service globally, Andrade said.
He explained that most aircraft are identified using tail numbers, but to maintain client privacy, all of Jett Aircraft’s planes are identified as Darkhorse through a special license from the Federal Aviation Administration.
“That’s a pretty cool thing,” he added. “Not many companies get to do that.”
Jett Aircraft has more than 10 employees.
Andrade, who unsuccessfully ran for Fort Smith mayor in 2018, also owns several other Fort Smith-based businesses including Elite Lawn, Landscaping and Excavation LLC and Southern Eagle Aviation LLC. He also owns a Texas-based ammunition company. He acquired Southern Eagle Aviation in the spring, and the flight school also offers banner towing, aerial tours and surveying.
In 2019, Andrade earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith. Andrade, who is an immigrant from Brazil, has lived in Fort Smith for most of his life. He served in the U.S. Army for 19 months before being medically discharged.