Fractional ownership company Airshare has promoted Alex Franz to COO. Having joined Airshare in 2003, Franz has advanced through a number of positions including first officer, captain, base manager, check airman and chief pilot. He previously served as VP of flight operations, a position he had held since 2018. He is a licensed ATP pilot and is type-rated in several aircraft, including the Embraer Phenom 100 and 300, with more than 6,000 flight hours' experience.
Ben Petersen has been named Airshare's new director of flight operations. Petersen previously served as chief pilot, where he oversaw all flight operations, training and crewmember hiring. Petersen joined Airshare in 2007.
“Alex has been a key member of the Airshare team from its earliest days and has been instrumental to our growth and success,” says CEO John Owen. “He and Ben have drawn on their experience as pilots to play significant roles in building one of the best operations and flight departments in the industry. We look forward to their continued leadership for many years to come.”
Owen attributes Airshare's growth in part to the company's history of promoting within for senior leadership positions.
“Our customers' relationships with our pilots set us apart from the competition, many of whom will typically assign multiple flight crews and aircraft to their customers on any given day,” he continues. “Our pilots get to know our customers on a first-name basis, establishing familiarity and trust that ensures the highest level of service.”
Owen also credits Franz and Petersen as being instrumental in Airshare earning IS-BAO Stage III certification for safe operations, as well as helping create a culture that has attracted and promoted the highest quality talent in the industry.
Airshare recently became one of the largest private aviation companies in the US, as it celebrates its 20th anniversary.
“We established a different model for our fractional and jet card programmes for a reason,” states Owen. “Our focus is on safety, simplicity and productivity. We don't sell the glitz and glamour generally associated with private aviation. Our customers rely on us to increase their productivity and ensure they always get home in time for what matters most. While we are in the midst of aggressive growth for the business, that commitment we have made to our current and future customers will never change.”
Airshare was founded in Wichita, Kansas in 2000 with a single aircraft. Following the relocation of its headquarters to the Kansas City area in 2005, the company quickly expanded into Texas and acquired aircraft management company Flight Services Company in 2008. Today, Airshare serves fractional and managed customers across the entire central region of the United States, in addition to its operational facility in Buffalo, New York.
Last year the company announced a major expansion into the upper Midwest, including Chicago, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Louisville and Cincinnati. In 2019, Airshare logged more than 12,400 flights and 16,000 flight hours.
Owen joined Airshare as CFO in 2016 and was named president and CEO in 2018. He said the achievements the company has experienced to date have laid the foundation for rapid growth ahead. “We have an incredible group of people across every department of the company, from our pilots, to our maintenance crews to those who support our customers every day.”
Finally, Airshare has achieved the highest international standards for safe flight operations, earning IS-BAO Stage III certification from IBAC. IBAC certified Airshare following an extensive audit of the company's operations including flight operations, maintenance, flight control, owner services, safety management system (SMS) and emergency planning, in addition to accounting and marketing. The organisation earned IS-BAO Stage I certification in 2014 and Stage II certification in 2016.