Flexjet, Sentient, PrivateFly boss salutes employees

By Doug Gollan, April 19, 2020

Directional Aviation chairman Kenn Ricci took to Instagram to praise employee support for its shared sacrifice program

With business aviation taking it on the chin from the COVID-19 Coronavirus crisis, the industry is being wracked by furloughs and layoffs. Last week JetSuite sent shockwaves by suspending operations laying off and furloughing over 120 employees.

I don’t think as a leader, I have ever been more humbled or touched by any act of support from an organization

– Kenn Ricci, Directional Aviation

Directional Aviation, which counts Flexjet, Sentient Jet, and PrivateFly among its holdings apparently took a different track. The company asked employees to defer a portion of their salary they could afford.

Ken Ricci, principal for the group, and 14 other employees deferred 100% of their salaries while 86% of employees participated.

Ricci went to Instagram tonight to sing the praises of employees for voluntarily joining a group sacrifice approach.

Ricci wrote, “While the future is uncertain, many companies are having to resort to laying off or furloughing their employees. It is a decision that is always difficult to make. However, at @Flexjetllc @sentientjet and @PrivateFly, one of our fundamental principles is that employees are our family. Families make sacrifices as a group and they don’t single out certain members to get hurt more than others.”

He continued, “So, rather than furlough, we asked each employee to voluntarily defer a portion of their salary that they could afford. We even created a website to encourage and track participation.”

Overwhelming Response

The response, had the private aviation company boss overwhelmed.


He shared, “Who would have believed that 86% of our employees would voluntarily participate AND 14 employees in addition to myself volunteered to defer 100% of their salaries! Truly remarkable.

“I don’t think as a leader, I have ever been more humbled or touched by any act of support from an organization. Our culture has always provided the foundation for our success in the past and I think this unified selfless act of support for our organization will define who we are for years to come. It is something that we will proudly profess to future customers, employees and partners. It truly was one of the brightest days in my life at a very opportune time.  Stay healthy, and if this is any indication, there will be many great days to come!”

In March, Flexjet made news when it said it would use its own fleet of private jets to position its flight crews. The move was designed to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 Coronavirus. Private aviation pilots and cabin crew typically use the airlines.


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