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At almost any time during the year, you can’t help but notice a variety of jets lined up alongside the dual runway at Nantucket Memorial Airport


Blue Stars in the

SKY by Kristen Kellogg

A

At almost any time during the year, you can’t help but notice a variety of jets lined up alongside the dual runway

at

Nantucket

Memorial Airport. This tiny island stuck 30 miles out to sea is more than just gray shingles and cobblestoned

streets. It’s also the destination for a lot of those who are part of the “jet set,” that crowd that wings in on Gulfstreams and Citations. Despite the well-heeled associations you might have with those who travel via private jet, the idea of saving a few bucks has a pretty universal appeal. Those luxurious fliers are no exception, and there is a Nantucket summer resident who is cashing in on that appeal. Ricky Sitomer, owner of Blue Star Jets, has summered on Nantucket for 20 years. He has fallen for Nantucket’s charm, like so many of his clients who own vacation homes here. He loves the laid-back lifestyle the island affords him, a welcome change from his office in New York City. A typical summer day for this warrior of the corporate trenches involves picking up a sandwich to eat while sitting on the beach, followed by a beer at Cisco Brewery.

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What is it about this mode of travel that makes Blue Star such a successful business? 76


Sporting diamond jet cufflinks with his tuxedo at his recent White Elephant wedding, Sitomer clearly always has flying on his mind, but it wasn’t always that way. Ricky first worked in the stock brokerage business, but when the market crashed at the end of 2000, he decided to pioneer a new path in the sky: the private jet brokerage business. Ricky and his partner Todd Rome found a niche and went for it. Named after an airline in the classic 1987 film “Wall Street,” Blue Star Jets was born in 2001, the first of its kind developed on a large scale. Blue Star Jets essentially allows you the freedom of flying privatly for less, with the added flexibility to change your aircraft. In today’s changing economy, where people are downsizing and getting rid of overhead costs, Blue Star Jets has filled a niche in the market. You buy the time in the air, not a piece of a jet that is going to depreciate. Flying in a private jet is, of course, luxurious. But surely there is something more to it than just being able to tell your friends that you flew in on a private jet. What is it about this mode of travel that makes Blue Star such a successful business? For starters, when flying Blue Star, you are able to tailor your aircraft to your specific needs. “If you’re flying from New York to Nantucket and you’re three or four people, you can take a

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Sporting diamond jet cufflinks ... Sitomer clearly always has flying on his mind, ...

In addition to flying people, Blue Star Jets offers cargo services for businesses and medical facilities. With offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boca Raton and London – and

Ron Lynch

representatives stationed all over the world – Blue Star is accessible anywhere you might find yourself, and system-wide, their number one goal is client satisfaction. No matter your desire – in-flight facials, massages, Dr. Oz-prepared meals – they’ll make it happen for you. It is that focus on customer satisfaction that has helped Blue Star succeed – and expand turboprop,” said Sitomer. “If you’re 14 people and you want

their base of operations – despite the faltering economy. And

a brand new Gulfstream 550 from New York to Paris, or if

there’s no end in sight for the company’s growth. Current plans

you’re a big group of 300 and need a 747s to China, that’s

include opening offices in Dubai, Hong Kong and other

what we get you.”

international hubs, which will allow them to expand their client base while still remaining competitive.

That ability to get clients the specific plane they need is a definite advantage for Sitomer. Blue Star brokers more than

At the end of the day, the number one concern on the mind of

4,000 Jets and works with approximately 1,000 different

travelers today is safety, and the Blue Star team is well aware

aircraft carriers, offering clients anything from helicopter to

of that, and it’s something they take very seriously. “We’ve

turbo prop, private jets and up to 747s. The sky literally is the

been in business for 11 years, and people want to fly with the

limit with Blue Star.

brand,” said Sitomer. “They want to feel safe. They want to feel secure, and Blue Star Jets gives them that. And on top of

Time is another consideration that makes flying privatly attractive

that, it’s a value play.”

to clients. With airline delays at a recent high, private flights allow you to bypass lengthy security lines with on-time arrival to destinations. From weekend getaways to important business meetings, Blue Star Jets transports you there quickly and comfortably, and with minimal effort on your part. With the click of a button on their website, you’ll be connected to one of Sitomer’s staff, who will discuss your needs with you to determine the best option. From there, in as little as four hours, you can be buckled in and cruising comfortable at 35,000 feet, on your way to your final destination. Another offering from Blue Star is the “Share a Jet Exchange” program, a concept that enables two different parties going to the same destination to save 40-50% on the flight. A popular program for people who want to save money and still be able to fly privatly, Share a Jet Exchange includes destinations

Ricky and Jennifer Sitomer at their Nantucket wedding in 2011.

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Ron Lynch

such as New York City, Nantucket, Boston, Aspen and Palm Beach.


Blue Stars in the Sky