As Surf Air Europe launches, Private Jet Card Comparisons can confirm that Jeff Potter has left the U.S. unit where he was CEO of the private flight membership company, which has popularized the single turboprop Pilatus PC-12. The move apparently took place earlier this month but has yet to be reported and the company, which is privately held, did not issue a press release. Wikipedia still lists Potter as the CEO.
On June 7th, Surf Air announced it had agreed to acquire Texas-based RISE, which offers a similar “Netflix” model of a monthly payment for all you can fly access to a route network of short regional flights. The press release merger quotes Sudhin Shahani, Surf Air’s chairman as also holding the CEO title.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Shahani was CEO Musicane from 2006 to 2011. The company patented embedded retail platform for social networks, blogs, and other websites. He currently serves as Board Member for Panna, a digital cooking magazine app, and Madefire, which claims it invented a new category of entertainment it calls Motion Books. His connection as Executive Chairman of Surf Air apparently dates to February 2014.
The merger with RISE increased weekly flights to 445 across 17 destinations. It also includes plans to expand to Las Vegas, Bentonville, Arkansas, Midland, Texas, New Orleans, Scottsdale, Arizona and Taos, New Mexico in the next 18 months. Weekend service to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, Aspen, and Sun Valley, Idaho is also expected.
Potter came to Surf Air at about the same time as Shahani. His LinkedIn profile that shows as of June he is Founder and CEO of Beskapes, but there is no description, and according to GoDaddy the name has already been taken. Potter’s LinkedIn profile shows he was President and CEO/Director at Surf Air from February 2014 until this month, so shortly before the RISE deal. Potter previously served as CEO of Vanguard and Frontier Airlines as well as Intrawest, Exclusive Resorts and Boyd Gaming.
Former British Airways executive Simon Talling-Smith is leading Surf Air Europe. Potter’s departure was planned in advance, Private Jet Card Comparisons is told. It is not clear whether Shahani will keep his dual roles or if a new US CEO will be appointed.