SUN AIR JETS: Hidden Gem In Private Aviation
Twenty minutes from sunny Malibu sits a hidden gem in the world of private aviation in Southern California: Sun Air Jets, located at the Camarillo Airport. Like the Camarillo Airport itself, Sun Air offers an intimate, personalized experience from an award-winning terminal that provides the ultimate in customer satisfaction – something other private aviation providers in Southern California only dream of matching. As a boutique, chic, and unique charter/management/private aviation provider, Sun Air takes the ordinary and turns it into extraordinary every day, on every flight, for every customer.
Sun Air’s mission, its objective, and its over-riding passion is to provide out-of-this-world-class service to customers that need their aircraft managed or want to fly on private aircraft. With a fleet that encompasses ultra-long-range “anywhere on the planet” aircraft like the Gulfstream V and the Bombardier Global 5000, down to “let’s pop over to Las Vegas for the weekend” size aircraft like the Hawker 800XP, Sun Air can get you where you want to go safely, in style, and in comfort. Sun Air’s President, Brian Counsil, likes to say, “We provide better and smarter service, because that’s what our customers demand and deserve!”
There are more than 2000 private jet charter companies in the U.S., but Sun Air is one of a handful of companies that maintains the 4 highest safety ratings possible for charter business: Wyvern Wingman, ARG/US Platinum, ACSF (Air Charter Safety Foundation), and IS-BAO (International Standards for Business Aircraft Operations). Sun Air’s clients choose Sun Air because it maintains the highest safety standards possible in flight operations, pilot training, and aircraft maintenance. “Sun Air Jets corporate culture and SMS (Safety Management System) program are solely and completely dedicated to the highest possible standards of safety,” stated Sun Air’s Charlie ODell, Director of Operations. “By inviting all the toughest auditors in the industry to examine our operations and safety programs, we continuously verify that we are one of the safest operators in the industry and are not afraid to prove it.” These “badges of honor” safety awards require countless hours of inspection, review, discussion, and refinement of procedures every year. It also requires a full-time, dedicated effort from every one of the company’s employees, extensive attention to even the smallest detail, and the creation of a safety culture where every employee, in any capacity, has the power to ensure that safety is the watchword in every aspect of operations, training, and maintenance. In other words, Sun Air operates like its own families are on board, every flight, every day. Nothing is more important to Sun Air than the safety of its passengers, customers, and employees.
Sun Air opened the doors to its award-winning airport terminal in Camarillo in 2002. When a passenger walks in the doors at Sun Air for the first time, they have entered more than a terminal. They have entered the exclusive world of private aviation. The company has invested almost $30 million in its 11-acre complex, all devoted to its customers and clients. Sun Air’s main terminal has been selected as “One of the Best FBOs in North America” by Aviation International News. For those customers that don’t want to walk through the terminal, they can drive directly onto the aircraft ramp, get out of their vehicle at the base of the aircraft stairs, and climb onboard while the prompt and courteous staff loads their bags and makes sure they are comfortable. From arrival at the airport to take-off can be less than 5 minutes- a convenience only available in private aviation.
Once airborne, the catering you ordered is available on your schedule, and can be served by an ultra-professional cabin server. The type of food available is limited only by your imagination as our aircraft caterers have the ability to fulfill virtually any request. Dining on custom-prepared, individualized meals at 40,000 feet in the luxury of a private jet is truly an experience that makes the trip delightful. As passengers like to say, the convenience and privacy of private aviation is something that has to be experienced to be appreciated. Once you have experienced it, nothing else compares, and once you have flown with Sun Air, you’ll never fly with anyone else again!
Sun Air is a member of the Signature Select® brand, a subsidiary of the Signature Flight Support network. This network consists of over 120 domestic and international locations that are selected based on the highest standards of service, support, and customer satisfaction. Signature Select® allows Sun Air to provide consistent service to aircraft owners and charter passengers as they travel around the world and stop at other network locations. Its proprietary SigNet® database stores information about every customer in the network, allowing Sun Air to anticipate any request or customized service on a flight, from a particular vintage of champagne to the dog’s favorite treats! This consistency and concierge service throughout the Signature network provides the critical “away from home base” service level that is hard for other operators to duplicate.
In addition to their aircraft management, charter, and aircraft fueling businesses, Sun Air has grown its maintenance department into an organization that keeps its growing fleet flying 365 days per year, efficiently and at the highest standards of safety. “Our maintenance department is designed to handle any maintenance that is required,” stated Greg Paxson, Sun Air’s Director of Maintenance. “We keep our fleet flying 365 days a year all around the world through rigorous and anticipatory maintenance procedures to ensure the highest possible level of reliability and safety.”
The creation up out of the dirt of over 120,000 square feet of hangars and 22,000 square feet of terminal and offices has transformed the Camarillo Airport from a sleepy, under-utilized former military airfield into a dynamic engine of growth in Ventura County. With over 60 jobs and a payroll of over $5 million, Sun Air generates a significant amount of direct and indirect investment in the county.
Looking at the business from 40,000 feet, the one thing that Sun Air’s employees all agree on is that in aviation, the only constant is change. From the depths of the great recession in 2008-2011 to today, the business is different in many ways. Mostly it has to do with expectations: the irrational exuberance surrounding everything in aviation leading up to 2008 has been eliminated. What has replaced it is both good and bad: good, in that more rigorous, consistent business practices have been implemented in much of the industry; bad, in that many long-time, “mom and pop” aviation businesses are being squeezed out of the market by consolidation, huge capital investments by hedge funds, roll-ups, and the like.
Sun Air has flourished as an independent company by becoming a leader in safety and making investments in its facilities and employee talent. Looking to the future for Sun Air, it is bright indeed. The company continues to grow intelligently, appropriately, and most of all, profitably as it continues its quest to be the best charter management company and aircraft operator in the world.