History

The passion and the business of private aviation.

Kenneth Ricci—a man whose lifelong passion has been aviation—developed his own vision of the industry and created an investment firm that is unique in private aviation. A highly respected professional aviator, Ricci sees the great potential of the private aviation industry.

He founded Directional Aviation in 1981 with the acquisition of a small aircraft management company, Corporate Wings, a premier global provider of aircraft management, fueling, storage and charter flight services. Today, Directional Aviation has grown to become a multibillion-dollar force in the industry through the leadership of Ricci’s passion for aviation and business acumen.

“We modeled so many companies in the private aviation space that we know the industry in and out. We have one key critical consideration—differentiation—a Directional company must be extraordinarily unique,” states Ricci. That has allowed Ricci and his team to respond quickly to the many investment opportunities that have presented themselves over the years. But the opportunities are more than the businesses themselves; they include the people who are part of those businesses. “Directional is not a cold, investment-based concern. We embrace people; they are what we are about. If we can give a person a chance to achieve something great, then we all prosper,” adds Ricci.

The Third Model.

There are three business models in the industry. Commonly, many aviation firms are founded and run by pilots. Quite often, while they have personal commitment to the industry, those firms underachieve due to limited business skills. The second type is the business-focused aviation company. Those companies, while strong in spreadsheets, lack the passion and expertise in aviation to truly excel. The third model is Directional Aviation. It’s Ricci’s aviation passion in conjunction with his business acumen that has propelled Directional Aviation to a leading position in the industry. His continued enthusiasm remains the heart and soul of the company. “I’m very proud of what we’ve been able to achieve,” Ricci shares. “I truly believe this is just the beginning.”

  • 2,200 employees
  • Over $1.5B in revenues
  • Serving over 70 countries globally
  • Over 175,000 annual flight hours