Fresh off a long holiday weekend and our country’s birthday, I find that we have much to continue celebrating. While there is still work remaining, the global community has made great progress battling the Covid-19 pandemic. In response to the reopening of many shuttered industries and offices, travel has embraced the challenge of restarting – a core infrastructure component of the global economy.
COVID-19 reshaped the landscape of private aviation. We anticipate business travel returning, but it will be different from before, and we believe it will be better and more valuable. PJS has always focused on serving industries and individuals who require the safety and reliability only provided by on-demand air travel. As the world continues to open up, nothing beats face-to-face interactions for developing, maintaining, and enhancing genuine relationships.
Over the past year, we expanded our team in nearly all areas of operations, service, and compliance. Recruiting from the aviation community and the larger hospitality industry, the PJS leadership team has planned for the leap in demand fueled by the inextinguishable passion for travel. In a service industry like ours, which relies entirely on its people, I am constantly urging our leaders to remember Steve Jobs’ mantra, “We hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” Over the next four years, we expect to see continued growth in our core business lines of Corporate/Enterprise, Government, Sports, Music, and Entertainment, as well as new markets opened by our amazing new team members.
Through this growth phase, we will stay true to our mission, and remind ourselves we are not here to commoditize private aviation. Our mission is to create bespoke, highly tailored experiences for a select group of industries and individuals. When a Fortune 100 CEO needs to meet investors; when a US Senator campaigns for President; when a Grammy-winning artist performs for fans; or when a group of doctors needs to deliver critical care supplies into a disaster zone, they trust PJS with these moments. When a complex mission positively has to be flown right, PJS embraces the opportunity to deliver a result so extraordinary that our clients consider it ordinary.
Growth is important to PJS, provided we remain focused on our core competency. In the past year, we doubled the size of our Integrated Operations Center (IOC), an extension of the customer experience beyond general flight operations. The IOC is the foundation and driver of our industry-leading client satisfaction. It never grows old and I am thrilled to repeat it as often as I can – PJS still flies every client we flew our first year in business (2003). Our IOC is our hands-on way of ensuring our flyers always receive a premium PJS experience. Moving forward, new technology and connectivity will play key roles in the growth of our business, but the “PJS algorithm” is our closely-knit internal team, who takes pride and ownership of knowing every detail of each client and their needs. No two flyers are alike and PJS believes there is no room in private aviation for a one-product-fits-all approach.
All of this growth means more flights in the pipeline, which requires an unwavering dedication to our safety practices led by Matt Dubois, our Director of Safety. If you are not already familiar with Matt, he joined us when he retired from the Pentagon as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, a role which Matt worked towards after 18 years as an active-duty naval aviator. Matt is a Certified International Safety Manager and an experienced aviation safety auditor himself, accredited by ARG/US, the International Aviation Business Council (ISBAO) the Flight Safety Foundation, and the Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF). Matt regularly performs physical audits of FAR-135 operators, aircraft, and crews deployed in our program, and trains our operations team on implementing our safety standards on a daily basis. If you would like to chat with Matt directly, please drop him a line. I know he would love to hear from you.
Our Emergency Response Team continues to prove themselves pros at urgently orchestrating on-demand movements, such as when the La Soufrière volcano on St. Vincent erupted in April. In this scenario, the team tackled one of their biggest saves for a vacationing family grounded by the ash plume on the island of Barbados. Through the PJS Emergency Response Program, our team safely extracted our clients, completing the first departure to the Continental U.S. post-eruption.
Just as in this high-risk example, Matt ensures that our operational safety standards remain world-class, particularly concerning our evaluation of pilots, aircraft maintenance, and performance. Our care and attention to detail have helped us maintain our pristine safety record and the highest-ranking safety certifications in the industry.
In the second half of this year, PJS will launch client experience innovations including technology advancements and personalization tools. I am committed to ensuring our clients enjoy an experience marrying new offerings with the same expert, human touch PJS is known for. We are beyond a doubt raising the bar as a boutique consultancy and bringing inspiration back to flying again.
My guess is this recap of PJS – where we have been the past year and where we are heading – reminds you more than a little of your own business. I am confident you are as appreciative of your teams as I am of ours. Our success is the result of this talented group of people, and the loyalty, commitment, trust, and partnership each one of you, our clients, have afforded us.
I am thrilled you have joined us for the ride.
Founder & CEO of Private Jet Services Group