Love Takes Flight

Todd Strause and Kelly Lurz.

How PrivateFlite Aviation provides the ultimate private jet setting experience


By Sarah Levitch
Photos provided by PrivateFlite Aviation


“There is something about the freedom of going up and being in the sky. You’re not restricted by the highway,” said Todd Strause, Owner of PrivateFlite Aviation. A native Louisvillian, Strause pursued his first passion by starting a successful automotive marketing company 25 years ago that enabled him to experience the thrill of flying on a private plane. After a flight when he had the opportunity to sit in the right seat next to the pilot and listen to the commands from the tower, he was hooked. “I dedicated the next four months to flying and taking lessons,” said Strause. “It became an addiction. I bought into a plane, and then into another one. Then I got into the aviation business and, before I knew it, here I am today.”

The seven hangars and 50 employees that currently comprise the company are only the beginning. While it’s currently in the process of constructing more hangar space and hiring pilots, PrivateFlite Aviation is still ascending to its potential cruising altitude. What’s the secret to their accelerated growth and success within the past five years? The answer is simple: love. It can all be attributed to a love for flying and providing the ultimate client experience.

General Manager Kelly Lurz reflected on this love by saying, “We both take so much pleasure in this experience. I’ve actually never been up privately, but I love to provide that for other people. Todd loves to watch the planes take off. For me, I love to see the people smiling and getting into the planes.”

Strause also attributes their growth to going above and beyond clients’ expectations, as well as cultivating personal relationships. “What we want to do is something better than anyone else. Whether it’s coming up ramp side and you never touch your bags, or you give us your keys and we clean your car while you’re gone, or when you land and it’s cold, your car is sitting there warmed up and there are two waters in your cup holder with mints. It’s exciting to hear the client’s story, how they’ve become successful and seeing their excitement when we walk up to the plane.”

Lurz added, “To me, building relationships with the employees and clients is the best part. We’re in such a unique position because Todd has his other successful company and this is really a love project of his. We’re able to grow it the right way with the right values. We don’t have an agenda and we’re not stressed out about making it work.”

Private aviation may be as sexy and alluring as it gets, agreed both Strause and Lurz. Who doesn’t want to be whisked away for the night to dinner in another city? One can dream.

With a vision of hosting events and jet shows, as well as hopes of flying across the pond, it’s needless to say that PrivateFlite Aviation is spreading its wings in a world where the sky’s the limit.