With the initiative, determination and resolve to transform the transportation industry, Fernando Pereira founded Pegasus Transportation. His vision, mission and goal interlocked to provide stress-free travel and on-time transportation to groups in Florida. Pereira began with one van and a driver – himself. Slowly, he began to acquire additional vans and drivers for his fleet as service demand and client base increased.
Serving National and International Clients
In 2007, Pegasus opened its second location in South Florida, expanded its fleet to 18 buses and started offering concierge services. For example, clients can have Pegasus book hotel and restaurant reservations, plan sightseeing excursions and attraction trips, or provide convention shuttles and airport transfers.
Today, Pegasus is the leading travel destination provider in Florida and possesses the largest fleet of 61 passenger motor coaches in Orlando, Miami and Fort Lauderdale. The team is dedicated to making a difference for its clientele by providing logistical planning, 24/7 live dispatching and GPS tracking.
Pegasus works with various domestic sectors traveling throughout Florida from corporate to senior to student groups. Additionally, Pegasus has extensive knowledge of the international markets focusing on tour groups from Asia, Europe, South Africa, Central America, South America and the Middle East.
“Florida is the perfect place to conduct business,” Claudia Menezes, Vice President of Pegasus said. “It is business-friendly and diverse in terms of employees and customers. In the tourism industry, we are surrounded by many cultures and backgrounds. Our employees understand the different domestic and international relationships. It is our attention to detail and willingness to go the extra mile which propels many new customers to become long time clients.”
Florida welcomed approximately 113 million tourists in 2016 with Orlando being the most visited destination in the United States. With top-rated resorts, restaurants and attractions, Florida’s hospitality and tourism industry are world-renowned.
Recognized as an industry-leader, Pegasus considers itself a “yes company” existing to deliver the best service possible to its clients; recruiting, hiring and retaining talent is a top priority. “It is important to have universities dedicated to the tourism industry,” Menezes said. “We work closely with the Rosen College of Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida to recruit interns and new hires. It is the largest hospitality college in the United States with an outstanding reputation.”
Pegasus employs approximately 100 multilingual employees. “Seventy percent are full-time employees including drivers,” Menezes said. “Thirty percent of employees are seasonal hires depending on peak tourism times – summer and holidays. Many of our employees speak English, Portuguese, Spanish or French to aid the diverse groups visiting Florida.”
Diversifying the Portfolio and Market Share
In 2009, the domestic market began its decline. Pegasus diversified its portfolio focusing on international markets, specifically South America. With the ability to move larger groups effortlessly and efficiently, Pegasus began to see great improvements in client acquisition and overall satisfaction from clients and employees. In 2010, Pegasus built its permanent headquarters in Orlando. The new facility featured an expanded office space, garage and maintenance shop allowing Pegasus to retain and maintain its buses directly onsite.
Today, Pegasus generates multimillion dollar revenues and saw an annual growth rate of 10 percent for the past three years.
Generating Retail Revenue
Retail stores and shopping venues rely heavily on Pegasus as a major source of revenue. “We work closely with the Mall at Millenia, Orlando Premium Outlets, Sawgrass Mills and Simon Malls throughout the state,” Menezes said. “In 2012, Latin American tourists spent $5.4 billion while visiting Florida. Pegasus helps connect buyers to local retailers which positively impacts the Florida economy.”
Pegasus believes support from the government and pro- business organizations make a difference concerning business decisions. “Support from Enterprise Florida, Visit Florida, Visit Orlando and Experience Kissimmee is extremely important,” Menezes said. “These institutions play a big role in business decisions and make our lives easier.”
Pegasus utilized Enterprise Florida, the principal economic development organization for Florida, and its training seminars to learn and discern its business expansion.
Innovator of the Year
Based on its Pegasus Marketplace and W.I.N.G.S. platforms, Pegasus was named “Innovator of the Year” for its unique and diversified approach to technology. Both systems have changed the way travel professionals book, manage and secure services for corporate, educational and leisure travel. Regarding quality travel services, Pegasus is focused on breaking the mold.
The Pegasus Marketplace was developed in 2015 to capture an emerging travel market. The booking system leveraged the Disney Select contract allowing travel professionals to reserve vacation packages. The sign-up process takes only 60 seconds and consumers can make hassle-free reservations for attraction tickets, sporting events and hotels.
Additionally, Pegasus realized groups often struggle to stay on schedule; having a pre-planned itinerary saves valuable time. Pegasus established W.I.N.G.S. to do just that. It provides easy access to transportation schedules, GPS tracking, boarding checks, dining schedules with menus, event details, and so much more. It gives the group coordinators control and peace of mind by having a “personal assistant” in the palm of their hands.
Small Business Person of the Year
Fernando Pereira was recognized as the 2011 SBA North Florida District Small Business Person of the Year and 2015 CEO of the Year for his relentless commitment to employees and customers ensuring consistent quality in all aspects of Pegasus Transportation.