Chapman Freeborn has appointed four new leaders to head up its regional divisions, as the global air charter specialist and part of Avia Solutions Group prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2023.
Andy Hudson is now president for the APAC region, Reto Hunziker is now president Europe, David McCown is president Americas and Sharon Vaz-Arab is president IMEA. The new management team brings over 80 years' experience in the aviation sector to help grow Chapman Freeborn's global footprint and spearhead a major recruitment drive.
“We are heading into 2023 and beyond with the best expertise and knowledge at the helm of our company,” says CEO Eric Erbacher. “Chapman Freeborn's 50th anniversary in May is fast approaching, and as we prepare to celebrate this momentous occasion, we are also celebrating the growth, direction and success that we have mapped out in our plans for the coming years.”
Hudson brings 21 years' experience in the industry, including launching his own aviation acquisitions and management companies Private Jet Central, PJC Aviation and Down-Route in 2008, 2012 and 2015 respectively.
“I want to preserve the traditional and historical place that Chapman Freeborn has in our industry, taking it forward to the next generation and ensuring it is always growing,” he says.
Hunziker has worked with Chapman Freeborn since 2013, including roles as group cargo director and group cargo and on-board courier sales director.
“There is still a lot of untapped potential in Europe that we can access in a more efficient and effective way,” he says. “The first step towards this will be onboarding new trainees and inspiring the next generation to enter the industry.”
McCown, who launched the world's first online reservation system for the private jet industry in 1996, will continue to grow Chapman Freeborn's diverse network in the Americas while spearheading career development within the Americas team.
“Chapman Freeborn has a long history of strength in the global aviation industry, driven by a highly experienced and capable team,” he says. "I look forward to continuing to drive its rapid growth and making Chapman Freeborn the employer of choice in the private aviation industry.”
Vaz-Arab brings over 30 years' experience to her role and is a veteran of the IMEA region, with career highlights including director of Middle East and Indian operations for Cargolux Airlines and manager of global accounts for Etihad Airways.
“I am excited to strengthen and connect Chapman Freeborn's vast networks across IMEA, generate new business and develop its cargo and passenger air charter operations,” she says.
The company has also expanded its growth in the APAC region by appointing its first employee in Vietnam. Quang Le joins as executive, passenger solutions for APAC, and will focus on developing supplier and client relationships in Vietnam and the surrounding region.
Vice president passenger solutions for APAC Paul Tsang says: “Chapman Freeborn sees immense opportunities in Vietnam in both business and commercial aviation. We are committed to working with our partners to bring world-class aviation brokerage services to our Vietnam-based clients and, working closely with local suppliers, to reach out to the international market.”
This is echoed by Hudson who adds: “We are dedicated to Asia and as such we are investing in new, developing markets. Vietnam continues to develop at pace, and we want to ensure we are established to support the market growth, along with working with authorities to ensure that capacity solutions are met in full. We look forward to expanding our footprint in this country.”
The Chapman Freeborn Vietnam operation is situated alongside fellow Avia Solutions Group subsidiary, BAA Flight Training, in its office in Ho Chi Minh City.
Chapman Freeborn was launched in 1973 by Chris Chapman and Mike Freeborn, who spotted a unique business opportunity to market Alaska International Air's fleet of Hercules freighter aircraft. The charterer is now a member of Avia Solutions Group, which has over 100 offices and production facilities globally and over 9,000 highly skilled aviation professionals, serving more than 2,000 clients throughout Europe, Asia, North America, Australia and worldwide.