Flexjet CEO Mike Silvestro Receives the Living Legends of Aviation’s Lifetime Aviation Industry Award
January 23, 2023
- Longtime Flexjet CEO Receives the Living Legends’ Highest Honor
- Recognized for His Pioneering Advancement of Fractional Aviation
CLEVELAND, January 23, 2023 – The Chief Executive Officer of Flexjet, a global leader in subscription-based private aviation, has received the Living Legends of Aviation Lifetime Aviation Industry Award. Michael J. “Mike” Silvestro, who is the longest tenured CEO in the fractional private jet industry, was given the group’s highest honor at its 20th annual awards event on Jan. 20, 2023, hosted by John Travolta at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.
“I am thrilled that the Living Legends of Aviation has honored Mike Silvestro with its Lifetime Aviation Industry Award,” said Flexjet Chairman Kenn Ricci, himself a recipient of the Lifetime Aviation Entrepreneur Award to which the award now carries his namesake. “I have worked with Mike for more than two decades, and he has revolutionized private jet travel with expanded accessibility and efficiency while also making Flexjet a leader in sustainability, technology innovation, and the creation of new forms of air travel.”
Founded in 2003 at the beginning of aviation’s second hundred years, the Living Legends of Aviation is a group of people of accomplishment in the field – entrepreneurs, pilots, astronauts, industry leaders, record breakers and celebrities who have become noted pilots – who celebrate accomplishments and advances in aviation. Members include astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Jim Lovell, pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, actor-aviators Harrison Ford and Tom Cruise and business leaders Clay Lacy and Fred Smith.
“This honor is a tribute to the people at Flexjet who embody our fundamental principles that enable us to lead our industry to new heights,” said Silvestro. “Over the course of my career I have been proud to be a leader in private aviation as it has evolved into the exciting industry it is today.”
About Mike Silvestro’s Career
In 2000, Silvestro left a successful career as a marketing entrepreneur to join Ricci at Flight Options, which introduced for the first time, shares in pre-owned aircraft. His leadership positioned Flight Options as a leader in the industry. Silvestro served as CEO of the company through the severe downturn that followed the 2008-09 financial crisis and recession, allowing it to rebound faster than its peers, with a year-over-year 467 percent increase in fractional jet sales in the first quarter of 2011.
In 2013, Directional Aviation acquired Flexjet from Bombardier, eventually merging its operations with those of Flight Options and naming Silvestro as CEO of the combined enterprise.
In 2018, Silvestro marked his 10th anniversary as a fractional jet travel provider CEO, becoming the industry’s longest-tenured leader. Since then, he led Flexjet through the COVID-19 pandemic, establishing new health standards and innovative initiatives such as Project Lift, under which Flexjet flight crews traveled to or from their assignments on Flexjet’s private fleet instead of commercial airlines, minimizing the risk of contagion.
Under Silvestro’s leadership. Flexjet has become an industry innovator, launching premium offering Red Label, providing integrated travel options worldwide through its fleet of large-cabin and ultra-long-range aircraft, establishing a growing network of private jet terminals and becoming the only operator to offer seamless travel via its own private helicopter division. In addition, Flexjet has been a leader in sustainability, providing carbon-neutral service in the U.S. and Europe through 4AIR.
Silvestro holds a degree in marketing from the University of Notre Dame, where he was roommates with Ricci. Silvestro is married to his wife of 40 years, Mary Lynn Silvestro, with whom he has brought up four children. He serves on the Board of Trustees of Ursuline College and is actively involved in youth education initiatives.
Silvestro’s honor comes in advance of the combination of Flexjet and Horizon Acquisition Corporation II (NYSE: HZON), a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company, which will result in Flexjet becoming a publicly listed company.
Flexjet, Inc., a global leader in subscription-based private aviation, first entered the fractional jet ownership market in 1995. Flexjet offers fractional jet ownership and leasing and is the first in the world to be recognized as achieving the Air Charter Safety Foundation’s Industry Audit Standard, is the first and only company to be honored with 23 FAA Diamond Awards for Excellence, upholds an ARG/US Platinum Safety Rating, a 4AIR Bronze Sustainable Rating and is IS-BAO compliant at Level 2. Red Label by Flexjet, a market differentiator, which features the most modern fleet in the industry, flight crews dedicated to a single aircraft and the LXi Cabin Collection of interiors. To date there are more than 40 different interior designs across its fleet, which includes the Embraer Phenom 300 and Praetor 500, Bombardier Challenger 350, the Gulfstream G450 and G650. Flexjet’s European fleet includes the Embraer Praetor 600 and the Gulfstream G650. Flexjet’s helicopter division sells fractional, lease, and on-demand charter access to its fleet of owned, operated and maintained Sikorsky S-76 helicopters which boast 55,000 hours of safe flying certified by Wyvern and ARG/US and serving locations throughout the northeastern United States, United Kingdom and southern Florida. Flexjet is a member of the Directional Aviation family of companies. For more details on innovative programs and flexible offerings, visit www.flexjet.com or follow us on Instagram @FlexjetInc.
Susan Ruiz Patton
Flexjet Head of External Communications