Directional Aviation's principal Kenn Ricci has been inducted into the Living Legends of Aviation, an organisation composed of men and women of extraordinary accomplishment in aviation including industry leaders, innovators, pilots and astronauts. Ricci, who was chosen by the current members of the Living Legends, was inducted at the 16th annual Living Legends of Aviation Awards Gala, recently held in Beverly Hills, California.
Ricci received the Living Legends Lifetime Aviation Entrepreneur Award in 2017, an award that previously had been given to Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Atlantic, Fred Smith of FedEx and Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines. In 2018, the award was renamed the Kenn Ricci Lifetime Aviation Entrepreneur Award and presented to Robert T Bigelow, founder of Bigelow Aerospace.
“I am deeply honoured that the Living Legends of Aviation has elected me to membership in its class of 2019, joining men and women whose achievements in aviation I deeply admire,” he says. “I hope to use the platform to promote the cause of the Kiddie Hawk Air Academy, which produces the Living Legends Awards Gala and helps to instil an interest in aviation in the next generation. In this time when the global need for aviators is front and centre, Kiddie Hawk's mission is more important than ever and I hope to help it inspire young people to pursue careers in aviation.”
Ricci presented fellow 2019 inductee Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon and founder of space exploration innovator Blue Origin with the entrepreneur award.
Ricci's aviation career includes more than 6,000 hours in the air, having flown Bill Clinton during his 1992 presidential campaign. Later, Ricci founded Directional Aviation, which is the parent of Nextant Aerospace, aircraft maintenance provider Constant Aviation, sales facilitator Sojourn Aviation, N1 Engines and the OneSky portfolio of private jet travel providers including Flexjet, jet card provider Sentient Jet and digital on-demand private jet charter providers Skyjet and PrivateFly.
Collectively, the Directional Aviation companies currently employ more than 2,200 people, generating more than US$1.5 billion in annual revenue. Together they serve private aviation needs in more than 70 countries around the world and complete more than 175,000 flight hours annually.