In a post on LinkedIn, PrivateFly co-founder and CEO Adam Twidell announced he is leaving the company. The move comes three years after he and his wife, co-founder Carol Cork, sold the U.K.-based charter broker to Directional Aviation.
PrivateFly has been an innovator in the charter space. It’s known for a tech-forward outlook. It launched new twists in pricing and payments. Its City Pair flights offer full aircraft at fixed one-way rates on popular routes in Europe. It has been accepting cryptocurrency since 2014. It was early collaborating with luxury travel agencies. Last year it launched Directional’s first jet card program in Europe.
Twidell wrote, “We sold PrivateFly nearly three years ago to an amazing group, Directional Aviation. Led by Kenn Ricci, one of aviation’s most charismatic and successful investors. We found the perfect home for PrivateFly and the mighty backing to accelerate our flight path.”
Twidell, a former RAF and NetJets pilot, and Cork, a Conde Nast executive, sold their house to fund the launch in 2008. In a crowded market, they quickly built an outsized profile. Cork handled the marketing, and Twidell, playing on his expertise as an aviator, acted as a spokesperson.
As the industry turned to Google searches for new customers, the duo built the PrivateFly portal into one of the industry’s most visited websites. They used various research, educational reports, and video tours of private jets, a counter to the traditional price-driven approach.
Twidell added, “I am proud of all that we achieved at PrivateFly in that respect, and particularly how we led the online transformation of private jet booking. And now I am looking forward to my next aviation challenge. The electric aviation revolution has begun, and I will be throwing myself into supporting the OneSky portfolio of companies as we lead the way towards sustainably powered flight.”
OneSky companies include Flexjet, Sentient Jet, FXAir, and Associated Aircraft Group.
Twidell told Private Jet Card Comparisons, “There will be a few announcements in the coming months, so it is going to be an exciting time ahead! In the meantime, it is a bit hard leaving the PrivateFly team after 12 years…but it has been a blast!
Last year, Ricci launched Zanite Acquisition Corp. as a vehicle expected to be a platform for entry into new aviation technology.