Over 200 years of Aviation, Safety, and Airline Experience


Dave Pflieger Full Bio

President & CEO

Dave Pflieger brings over three decades of aviation experience to Ravn. His award-winning career includes prior positions as the CEO of Fiji Airways, Silver Airways and most recently of Island Air, Larry Ellison’s privately held airline in Hawaii. Dave was also a founding officer and senior executive at Virgin America, and held senior management roles in operations, safety and legal at Delta Air Lines. While at Delta, Dave Pflieger was also a B757/767 and B737 pilot. Dave graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and served in the United States Air Force as a B-52 instructor pilot and a C-130 pilot. He holds a JD (with distinction) and an MBA from Emory University.

David Pflieger Headshot

Brian Whilden

SVP of Safety; President of PenAir

Brian Whilden has nearly 35 years of aviation experience. His career experience includes prior positions as Director of Training, Director of Safety, Vice President of Safety, Senior Vice President of Flight Operations & Safety, and President & COO. He is a former firefighter in the U.S. Air Force.

Brian Whilden Headshot

John Mannion

Chief Financial Officer

John Mannion is a seasoned executive with over 25 years of leadership in global airline, helicopter, logistics, energy and related businesses with companies including Continental Airlines, ExpressJet Airlines, Bristow Helicopters, Port Freeport, Plains All American Pipeline and Credit Suisse. John brings extensive experience in airline economics, finance and accounting, operations, business strategy, risk management and commercial analysis and negotiations. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Wesleyan University and an MBA in Finance and Accounting from Cornell University Johnson Graduate School of Management.

John Mannion Headshot

Derek Shanks

Chief Commercial Officer

With over twenty-five years of experience in the airline and global travel industry, Derek Shanks played key roles at a number of different airlines, in addition to building his own consulting company focused on international sales and distribution within the hotel, car rental, and airline industry. Prior to striking out on his own, Derek was president of the world’s leading sales and marketing travel representation company, Discover the World Marketing, where he was responsible for increasing client revenues from a global network of offices in over 40 countries. Derek started his career in the United Kingdom with Thomson Holidays (TUI) before joining British Airways, where he was involved in their tour operating division. Derek has lived and worked in six countries, and he and his family are greatly looking forward to getting to know Alaska.

Derek Shanks Headshot

Deke Abbott

SVP of Flight Operations & Cargo

A highly experienced airline Captain/Chief Pilot, Flight Instructor, and government manager, Deke Abbot joins Ravn from the FAA, where over nearly the last decade, he was responsible for both operational oversight of Part 135 carriers as well as setting operating policy for U.S. Part 121 airlines. While at the FAA, Deke was the acting Deputy Regional Administrator for Alaska. Additionally, while at the FAA, he also held positions as acting Flight Standards Deputy Division Manager for Alaska and Branch Manager, AFS-220. Abbott is an FAA licensed multi-engine airline transport pilot, commercial pilot and certified flight instructor. Prior to his tenure at the FAA, he was a Captain and Chief Pilot for Comair, Inc., a FAR Part 121 air carrier. A combat decorated United States Marine; Deke was a member of 2nd ANGLICO (Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company) and served as a Firepower Control Team Chief. He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and a Member of the Royal Air Force Club in London, England. Deke holds a BA from Brown University and an MBA from the University of New Hampshire.

Deke Abbott Headshot

Wendy Yow

SVP of Human Resources

A seven-year veteran of Ravn, Wendy Yow has over twenty years of experience as an HR professional at different companies in Alaska. She has earned both a Bachelor’s Degree and an MBA with a focus in HR management. She also has CHRM and CELS certifications.

Wendy Yow Headshot