People » Industry Insider

February 1, 2009
“This could be a $2 billion business. I don’t know if we want that. At some p
In 1999, when Kenny Dichter took his first private jet ride on a friend's Hawker 800XP from New York to Boston, the airplane wasn't all that took wing. Dichter spotted an untapped market. Less than a decade later, he helms a jet-card subsidiary to industry giant NetJets that had sales of approximately $800 million to $900 million last year.
December 1, 2008
“I’m not a believer that we’re all going to be flying private to Grandma’s fo
The aviation bug bit Alex Wilcox at an early age, back when an airline pilot could invite a wide-eyed youngster into the cockpit during a long flight. Wilcox's Swiss mother and American father spent lots of time in Europe, and he vividly recalls extended conversations with pilots while crossing the North Atlantic.
June 1, 2008
When Benjamin Murray decided 11 years ago to enroll in a flight school and get his private pilot's license, he didn't give much thought to where that interest might lead him. By his own admission, he lacked the patience to continue flying and soon gave up his pilot-in-command time, but the business aspect of aviation still fascinated him.
April 1, 2008
The number-one competitor to fractional is two guys getting together and buyi
Paul Touw had barely finished high school when his entrepreneurial spirit started paying dividends. Enrolled at University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif., and short on tuition funds, he noticed that the physics department lacked good lab books.
April 1, 2008
To find out more about Branson's latest brand, we spoke with the man who founded it and oversees its day-to-day operations. What were you doing before this project came along? I spent most of my career in the technology business and about three years ago was introduced to private aviation.As a passenger?
February 1, 2008
“Most people flying private would pay a 20-percent premium for the benefits f
"I started when I was six," said Michael Scheeringa, when asked how he wound up in aviation. "I grew up in Phoenix, and when I was in grade school, I used to take the city bus to the airport and watch airplanes take off and land, and count passengers. At that point, I thought I'd want to build airports."
December 1, 2007
“In emerging markets like Eastern Europe, Russia, Asia and the Middle East, c
Dreams do come true, and Luis Carlos Affonso is proof. An aeronautical engineer and private pilot, he took over in the spring of 2005 as executive vice president of the newly formed Embraer Executive Aviation division, a position he described as "just where I want to be."
October 1, 2007
“Short of a complete global meltdown or another 9/11, I don’t see anything sl
Josh Mesinger is vice president of J. Mesinger Jet Sales, a Boulder, Colo. corporate jet brokerage and consulting firm founded by his father, Jay. The younger Mesinger joined the company eight years ago, after graduating from George Washington University.
August 1, 2007
“We believe that there’s a big opportunity for the whole-plane car-service-wi
Starting a company was the last thing on William Herp's mind when he caught the aviation bug in 1996. In fact, he'd already launched several businesses and was in the midst of a break from his entrepreneurial efforts.
June 1, 2007
“When we first started growing, even our board was hesitant to believe that w
When Steve Hankin left Starwood Hotels & Resorts to become CEO of Sentient Jet three years ago, the Weymouth, Mass.-based jet-card provider was "a very small company," he said recently. It's bigger now, but exactly how much bigger is anybody's guess. As Hankin told us when we asked about revenues and hours flown, "We've never revealed that.

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Quote/Unquote

“We didn’t take no fancy rock-star airplane [to get here]. [Pause.] All right, all right, we did take a fancy rock-star airplane. But we thought about driving. ”

-Bruce Springsteen, talking to the audience during a concert