Air Methods Corporation (Nasdaq:AIRM), the global leader in air medical transportation, today announced that Jay Francis has been appointed as president of Sundance Helicopters. Francis will succeed Bob Engelbrecht who is transitioning to the role of interim president for the Tourism Division.
Prior to joining Air Methods, Francis served as managing director of leisure, lifestyle and recreation for Saudi Oger, Ltd, a $20 billion Middle Eastern Research University, Lifestyle, and Luxury Community which includes sports, leisure activities, housing, entertainment, hotels, and education. He oversaw the development of an international executive management and support team of the leisure operations. He has a career in senior leadership and operations with Wyndham Hotels, as well as financial roles with several private equity companies involved in hospitality and tourism investment.
“We are thrilled to welcome Jay to Air Methods,” said Aaron Todd, Air Methods’ chief executive officer. “He brings vast leadership experience coupled with expertise in tourism to support the continued growth of our Las Vegas tour operator.”
In Bob Engelbrecht’s new role as interim president for the Tourism Division, he will provide leadership in the establishment of the division including a continued focus on integrating best practices and management infrastructure. Engelbrecht has been the CEO of Sundance since August 2012. Prior to that, he was with American Eurocopter (Airbus Helicopters) from 2007 to 2012. He has over 39 years of commercial helicopter experience and started his aviation career as a helicopter pilot with the United States Air Force.
“We are grateful for Bob’s continued leadership of our tourism business,” added Mr. Todd. “Both of our tour operators – Blue Hawaiian and Sundance – have been performing well, and we see a great deal of opportunities to share best practices and leverage resources across the Tourism Division.”
Air Methods Corporation (www.airmethods.com) is the global leader in air medical transportation. The Air Medical Services Division is the largest provider of air medical transport services in the United States. The United Rotorcraft Division specializes in the design and manufacture of aeromedical and aerospace technology. The Tourism Division is comprised of Sundance Helicopters, Inc. and Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, which provides helicopter tours and charter flights in the Las Vegas/Grand Canyon region and Hawaii, respectively. Air Methods’ fleet of owned, leased or maintained aircraft features over 450 helicopters and fixed wing aircraft.
Sundance Helicopters was founded in 1985 and primarily focused on flight training for pilots and local Las Vegas Strip tours. In 1988, Sundance Helicopters initiated a Grand Canyon tour that rapidly became the most popular helicopter tour in Las Vegas. Today, Sundance Helicopters is the most experienced helicopter tour company with a fleet of 25 aircraft and 16 tours to the Grand Canyon. Its business has expanded to not only tours, but is the partner of choice for the U.S. government to assist in military support missions. Sundance also works with the motion picture industry and top production companies, such as Paramount, Disney, Warner Brothers and the E! television network.
Blue Hawaiian, which began operating in 1985, has grown into the largest aerial tour company in Hawaii. Using a fleet of more than 25 aircraft, based across each of the major islands, Blue Hawaiian prides itself on providing the premier air tour experience to over 140,000 passengers per year.
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