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How Pentastar Aviation Battles Michigan's Economic Problems

Waterford, Mich. – It’s no secret that the business aviation industry has taken some heavy hits this year. Media scrutiny of the industry has caused some to shy away from utilizing corporate flights while aircraft manufacturers have concurrently slowed production as patrons decline to take delivery of new aircraft during the recession. In the midst of the challenges presented by the aviation industry, Pentastar Aviation, battles Michigan’s economic problems with growth. Based at Oakland County International Airport in Waterford, Mich., Pentastar was dealing with the steady decline of business from the automotive industry – once the lifeblood of the company.

While Michigan residents watched frequent layoffs cause the state unemployment rate to soar to nearly 15 percent, the executive management team at Pentastar Aviation went to work to devise a plan to not only weather the economic storm brewing across the nation, but to drive company growth and emerge stronger on the other side.

“The challenges presented by a changing economy have allowed us to reevaluate our core competencies to address those challenges,” said Rick Maloney, president, Pentastar Aviation. “We viewed these challenges as an opportunity to grow and implement positive changes to better serve a wider range of customers.”

A dynamic sales campaign resulted in eight new management contracts representing the addition of 11 aircraft to Pentastar Aviation’s fleet. The drop in business from the automobile industry allowed Pentastar to diversify their customer base and serve a range of companies and individuals across many different industries.

Pentastar’s reputation for excellent customer care and an impeccable safety record paved the way for the company’s first air medical transport management agreement signing earlier this year. Pentastar Aviation is now the sole provider of aircraft management and operational support for the University of Michigan Health System’s Survival Flight fleet comprised of three Bell 430 helicopters and a Cessna Citation Encore jet.

Extensive company growth in 2009 led to the addition of 50 new job positions within the company. Many of these positions were filled by employees displaced in the turnover created by the auto industry. The addition of these positions is especially significant since Michigan unemployment rate has reached a national high.

“Implementing initiatives that foster employee engagement during a recession is very important to us,” explained Patricia Zikakis, vice president of Human Resources, Pentastar Aviation. “Creating an environment where employee can do their best work allows us to retain personnel and better serve our customers.”

A “people-first” corporate culture makes delivering excellent service a way of life for Pentastar employees. Pentastar Aviation is continually striving to find new ways to serve a diverse and growing customer base. Specializing in individual aviation solutions, Pentastar Aviation has the experience and capabilities to accommodate nearly any request.

“We understand the importance of providing travel solutions that are specific to each individual person or company,” Maloney said. “We give customers the tools they need to do business. Whether it’s allowing them to reach a manufacturer in a remote location or providing office space or meeting rooms at our facility,

About Pentastar Aviation

Pentastar Aviation has been a leader in the private aviation industry for more than 45 years. Headquartered at the Oakland County International Airport (KPTK) in Waterford, Mich. Over the past five years, Pentastar Aviation’s KPTK location has consistently ranked in the top five fixed base operators in the United States in various industry surveys, including being voted #1 U.S. FBO in 2008 in the Pro Pilot PRASE Survey. Pentastar Aviation has extensive maintenance capabilities and also provides industry leading aircraft management, FBO service, aviation advisors and aircraft charter through Pentastar Aviation Charter, Inc.