2020 start-up Verijet has grounded 6 of its 21 Cirrus SF50 Vision Jets and has named a tech and aerospace veteran as its new Chairman and CEO.
Verijet has named EchoStar veteran Michael Marcotte as Chairman and CEO.
The Cirrus Vision Jet operator has also grounded six of its 21 aircraft and furloughed an undisclosed number of pilots over the last several days.
During an interview earlier this afternoon, Marcotte told Private Jet Card Comparisons, “We’ve grounded the most expensive aircraft that weren’t operationally efficient. It was a natural thing to do.”
Speaking of what’s next, he says, “The only constant is change. That’s not meant to spook people. There are going to be changes, adding staff, reducing staff, based on where we are at and what our customers want.”
Marcotte continues, “Part of caring about people is making sure a company is not only economically viable and survives, but thrives, during a significant recession, which we are in. Anybody who doesn’t understand that has not looked at the price of eggs or fuel.”
He adds, “The way the universe works, if we are on the curve, by nature we are behind it, which is why we have to constantly be ahead of it all the time, in everything we do from technology to leadership.”
Marcotte says Verijet remains committed to Cirrus and its SF50 Vision Jet but is open to expanding the fleet.
Marcotte served in C-level positions with Hughes, Sling TV, and Dish Network during his career with EchoStar. In 2012, he was named CIO of the Year.
He has extensive aviation experience, including as an advisor and board roles with electric aircraft maker Bye Aerospace, Ball Aerospace, and eVTOL maker Aska.
Marcotte brings two NASA awards for engineering excellence and similar honors from the U.S. Air Force.
“My charter is to make us the best of the best of the best,” he says.
Marcotte says he was brought in by the Board and investors in the company.
In the near future, flyers can expect better technology and improved operations, he says.
He has already instituted what he calls his five golden rules.
They include: Do it right the first time, think long-term, spend money like it’s your own, and take responsibility.
The top rule is: Know your business…be prepared.
Earlier this year, Verijet misfired on a proposed SPAC IPO.
After launching in 2020, it quickly expanded its fixed-rate service area from Florida to Texas, California, and the Northeast U.S.
It also added flight operations to the Caribbean and Mexico.
Last year, Verijet ranked as the 30th largest private jet operator in the U.S.