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Clearwater aviation firms adds new planes through acquisition

  • By Mark Gordon
  • | 4:00 p.m. June 27, 2023
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
Clearwater-based FlyUSA has 15 privately managed aircraft situated across Tampa Bay.
Clearwater-based FlyUSA has 15 privately managed aircraft situated across Tampa Bay.
Courtesy photo
  • Tampa Bay-Lakeland
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Clearwater-based private aviation company FlyUSA is expanding with the acquisition of Tampa-based 3B Aviation. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. 

The acquisition, according to a statement, expands FlyUSA’s fleet to 15 privately managed aircraft situated across the Tampa Bay region. Prior to the acquisition, 3B Aviation employed 10 pilots and managed 13 aircraft on behalf of more than 25 private owners.

3B Aviation was founded in 2012 in Tampa by Nick Barrows, a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, pilot and flight instructor. As part of the acquisition, Barrows will join FlyUSA as the president of acquisitions and management, according to the statement.

“We are excited at the opportunity to expand our aircraft acquisition and management services on behalf of our more than 700 on-demand charter clients across the country,” FlyUSA CEO Barry Shevlin says in the release. “With the expansion of our team to include 3B Aviation founder and president Nick Barrows and his staff, we are now even better positioned to assist our clients who are looking to acquire their own aircraft.”

FlyUSA provides on-demand private charter flights, as well as aircraft acquisition and management services. The company says it offers a dynamic pricing model that delivers cost savings of 20% less, on average, than its competitors’ membership benefits programs. In addition, FlyUSA does not require a deposit for membership, with private charter flight fees paid at the time of booking. It also operates the Clearwater Airpark (KCLW) and its FBO through a lease with the City of Clearwater.

“I’ve always been impressed with Barry’s approach at FlyUSA, including using technology to improve customer experiences,” Barrows says. “Joining the FlyUSA team is a great opportunity – both for myself and for our experienced team of pilots.”

“I’ve known Nick for over 10 years, in fact, he managed the first plane I ever bought,” says Shevlin. “I hold him in very high regard, and the entire FlyUSA team looks forward to working closely with him in the future.”



Mark Gordon

Mark Gordon is the managing editor of the Business Observer. He has worked for the Business Observer since 2005. He previously worked for newspapers and magazines in upstate New York, suburban Philadelphia and Jacksonville.

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