Rodney Hamilton, the director and chief pilot of Ford’s now-defunct flight department, summed up the state of the industry yesterday in two words: “difficult times.” In the past week, General Motors and Ford Motor Company announced they were shutting their respective flight departments, and investors learned that Citigroup has put two of its jets–worth $30 million each–on the block.
The new owner of Pentastar Aviation is described as an “aviation enthusiast,” and his acquisition of the former DaimlerChrysler Aviation is his first venture into an aviation service company. Edsel Ford II was elected to the board of directors of Ford Motor Co. in 1988. His career at Ford spanned more than 25 years. He was named president and COO of Ford Motor Credit Co. in May 1991 and elected a company vice president in December 1993.
DaimlerChrysler Aviation, which has been on the sales block for several months, is believed to be in acquisition negotiations with Edsel Ford II, according to industry sources. A DaimlerChrysler Aviation spokesman declined to comment, but a purchase agreement was described as “near” by a person close to the negotiations. Ford is a member of the board of Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn, Mich.
Mercury Air Centers and TAG Aviation disclosed a joint initiative to provide travel services through Mercury’s FBO network. The partnership will provide Mercury customers with a variety of ancillary services, including charter and management through TAG Aviation in the U.S. Mercury has 20 FBO locations throughout the country and TAG operates and manages more than 90 aircraft available for charter.
Cleveland-based Corporate Wings/Mercury Air Centers this week named Richard Michaels as its vice president of marketing. Michaels, a 25-year business aircraft sales veteran, was tapped by company CEO Kenn Ricci to head marketing and sales functions for all affiliated companies.