[caption id="attachment_12881" align="alignright" width="150" caption="The Citation is one of the aircraft used by Solairus"][/caption]
PETALUMA - Sunset Aviation, a leader in charter aircraft, has restructured and rebranded itself as Solairus Aviation.
Company founder Dan Drohan stepped in to take back the company in March when former owner national air charter service JetDirect filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Solairus Aviation will be a full-service private aircraft charter and aviation asset management company that provides service to airports across the United States and internationally, he said.
"Things are going fantastic," said Mr. Drohan, chief executive officer of Solairus and founder of Sunset Aviation more than 17 years ago said.
"We have put together a winning team."
"It was different than in the beginning," Mr. Drohan said. "When you start a new business, you have a vision, and you have a goal. When we restructured, we took for granted the amount of work it took. We figured it would be very easy to restart."
On the flip side, he said, they were able to rethink the way they did things.
When Mr. Drohan started Sunset Aviation, he said he wanted to be part of the biggest company in aviation.
"Now I feel that I want to set a new era of the company and just be the best I can."
"Part of the reason of the rebrand was to create a new energy around here."
"'Sol' is for the history, it means sun," Mr. Drohan said. "'Air' is what we do. 'Us' is for us, our company."
Solairus has 40 aircraft under management and 140 people in the company.
Almost half the fleet is represented by midsize craft. It has King Air, Global Express and Gulf Stream. The aircraft are located with different operations around the country. Different from Sunset, which had a maintenance team based out of one airport, each craft is housed at a different location and is serviced by an outside contractor.
An active Airline Transport-rated pilot with more than 6,500 flight hours, Mr. Drohan has been in the aviation industry his entire career. He founded the original company in 1992. After the sale of the business in 2007, Mr. Drohan led the company through its eventual re-birth as an independent entity.
"With Dan's leadership and the excellent executive team we have assembled, I believe Solairus is poised for tremendous success," said Jake Cartwright, industry veteran and the company's vice chairman.
Mr. Cartwright was previously at Tag Aviation USA, where he served as president and CEO. Tag was also with Jet Direct.
Solairus Aviation's executive team includes Vice Chairman Jake Cartwright; John King as the chief financial officer; Greg Petersen, chief operating officer; Mark Spindler, senior vice president of aircraft management; Dave Weil, senior vice president; Tom Benvenuto, vice president, flight operations; Rene Cervantes, vice president, maintenance; Marla McGatlin, vice president, client flight services; and Craig Zirzow, vice president, business development.
From its corporate offices in Petaluma and Burlingame, Solairus supports flights to more than 5,000 airports throughout the United States and abroad.