FXAIR building an experienced leadership team as business travel shows signs of recovery
New York, 9 November 2020 – FXAIR, the premium on-demand charter provider that launched in July as the newest member of the Directional Aviation family of companies, has made two key additions to its senior leadership team. Assuming the role of Senior Vice President of Sales is Robert Shaplen, who previously held the same position at PrivateFly and also previously served as an award-winning advisor at XOJET. Michael Hall, who over the past decade has held senior sales roles for a variety of Directional Aviation companies, is transitioning from sales to serve as Senior Vice President of Operations.
Shaplen and Hall will continue to hire additional sales and operations staff to build on the momentum of FXAIR’s impressive launch. In its first three months, the company has arranged premium on-demand charter flights for more than 3,000 passengers to 375 destinations and is on pace to exceed its sales targets by year-end. Clients joining its innovative Aviator program, offering preferred access to second-generation fractional aircraft even on peak travel days, have totalled 100, a rate of better than one per day.
“Establishing a company with the scope and scale of FXAIR during the middle of a pandemic may seem illogical, but our leadership team correctly predicted the rise in demand for premium charter,” said Hall. “We know we have the right service for the right time, and our consultative approach is resonating with people. Instead of focusing on the cheapest aircraft at the cheapest price, we offer a consistent, highly refined experience and selectively procured aircraft. That’s something that is rare in the charter marketplace.”
FXAIR’s positive numbers have been driven primarily by personal travel during the Covid-19 pandemic. While the strong start clearly validates FXAIR’s business model of bringing premium, on-demand aircraft to the charter market, it more importantly provides a solid foundation for FXAIR to grow upon when business travel recovers. And that recovery could come sooner rather than later, according to Shaplen, due to one key factor.
“The charter business has been buoyed by personal travel for the past six months,” said Shaplen. “However, bookings for Q4 are showing increased business travel to secondary markets that have seen airline service drastically reduced. Examples of these markets include Oakland, California; San Antonio, Texas; and cities of similar sizes. As commercial carriers have cut back service, business travellers are finding on-demand access to private jets the best, and sometimes the only, way to access these smaller markets. We expect to see continued strong growth as we meet these needs.”
FXAIR President Gregg Slow, who has more than 20 years of experience in senior positions at private jet travel firms including XOJET and NetJets, hand selected Shaplen and Hall to lead the FXAIR sales and operations teams. Prior to joining FXAIR, Slow served as President of the Americas at PrivateFly.
“I know it is important to have experienced, hard-working leaders, especially when you’re launching a new company,” said Slow. “That’s why we are fortunate to have Robert and Michael on board. Their guidance and leadership during this unique time has been exemplary, and it is because of them and their teams that FXAIR has such a bright future.”
FXAIR’s network of premium aircraft includes the Bombardier Challenger 300 and the Global Express, second-generation fractional aircraft that are available for charter only through FXAIR. The FXAIR network also includes individually curated aircraft ranging in size from light cabin to ultra-long-range. Operators within the FXAIR network are carefully vetted to meet the charter industry’s highest safety and quality standards.