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Thrive adds fifth Longitude and ramps up leadership
Thrive Aviation has added a fifth factory delivered Cessna Citation Longitude to its Las Vegas-based managed fleet and has made a number of C level appointments.
Thrive Aviation and Textron Aviation delivery teams, with Thrive CEO Curtis Edenfield (2nd left) and COO Rickey Oswald (centre).
Read this story in our January 2024 printed issue.

Las Vegas-based charter operator and aircraft management company Thrive Aviation has taken delivery of its fifth Longitude, bringing its fleet under management to over 20 aircraft. The Citation Longitude is a luxurious and versatile super-mid aircraft with non-stop range for trips throughout North, Central and most of South America.

Co-founder Vitali Lapko says: "We are thrilled to continue our growth with a fifth Citation Longitude added to our fleet. I am immensely proud of the Thrive Aviation team, their dedication, expertise and unwavering commitment have turned Thrive into a major player in the industry and one of the largest Longitude operators in the world."

By introducing a fifth Longitude, Thrive is broadening its operational scope. The super-midsize aircraft features a six foot stand-up cabin and what Textron claims is best-in-class legroom, as well as exclusive soundproofing techniques. A wireless cabin management system lets passengers manage window shades, movies, music, cabin temperature and lighting from personal devices. It seats up to 12 passengers, offers an optional crew jump seat and provides a walk-in baggage compartment.

The company has also appointed Rickey Oswald, previously senior vice president of flight operations and fleet management, as COO.

Oswald joined Thrive in January 2022 and made an immediate impact. He comes with a distinguished 20+ year career in the aviation industry, and has built Part 135 flight departments by providing strategic vision and holding key leadership roles such as chief pilot, director of operations and management executive. His deep understanding of the industry's complexities and his forward-thinking approach make him an invaluable leader and the right person for the right seat.

As COO, Oswald will play a pivotal part in overseeing and optimising the day-to-day operations. In addition, he will help guide the company's strategic vision as it continues its accelerated growth trajectory.

"For the past two years, Rickey's contribution to Thrive has been insurmountable. I'm extremely proud of him and am excited to see him take on the role of chief operating officer," says CEO Curtis Edenfield. "His extensive experience, passion for innovation and commitment to operational excellence align perfectly with our company's vision and values. We are confident that Rickey's leadership will contribute significantly to our continued success and growth in the aviation industry."

Oswald adds: "I have been honoured to be part of the Thrive Aviation team thus far, a company known for its dedication to quality and the experience we deliver to our clients. I'm eager to continue collaborating with Curtis, the leadership team and the entire organisation."

Also recently promoted to the leadership team are Stuart Edenfield to the role of vice president of flight operations; Nate Nelson to the role of vice president of finance; Kelly Krahenbuhl to the role of vice president of people and culture; Michelle Adair to the role of vice president of sales; and Henry Hage assuming the role of vice president of aircraft maintenance and ground operations.

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