Seasoned Airline Executive Derek Shanks Joins Ravn as Chief Commercial Officer
Anchorage, Alaska – Ravn Air Group (“Ravn”), Alaska’s largest regional airline, today announced that Derek Shanks, a seasoned airline and travel industry executive, will join the ranks of Ravn’s new world-class leadership team, effective December 4th. Shanks will be joining the company as its first-ever Chief Commercial Officer, responsible for leading the airline’s commercial team and all aspects of Ravn’s sales, marketing, network planning, and distribution efforts.
“Our team at Ravn has set out to become the best regional airline in the world, and Derek’s incredible background and skills, coupled with his worldwide experience in marketing and sales, and his focus on creating a superb customer experience, are going to help us take Ravn to even greater heights,” said Ravn’s President and CEO Dave Pflieger.
Shanks brings more than 25 years of experience that has involved every kind of customer, from tourists and travel agents to business travelers and cargo shippers. He began his career at British Airways and his most recent airline role was Chief Commercial Officer of Air Mauritius, the national airline of Mauritius, which he and others took from a loss-making carrier to profitability by implementing a new commercial strategy that grew the airline and its revenue, added successful new routes and introduced new customer products. Shanks also brings a distinctively new perspective to Ravn, having served as a global travel expert who assisted companies in the hotel, rental car, and cruise line sectors improve their sales and customer experience.
“Ravn is a unique story in today’s industry as it is one of the few successful independent regional airlines operating in the U.S. Its deep roots and long history of serving the people and communities of Alaska provide a solid foundation to do even more,” said Shanks. “As Ravn continues to strengthen and grow, an emphasis on improving customer service and the customer experience will be key. I greatly look forward to joining Dave and the amazing team at Ravn and contributing to the airline’s inevitable success.”
In September, Ravn announced a new world-class senior management team. “With the addition of Derek, Ravn’s new, highly-experienced leadership team is almost complete. We’re thrilled to have such a seasoned team of top-notch professionals help us soar and better serve Alaska,” said Pflieger.
About Derek Shanks
With over 25 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.
About Ravn Air Group
Ravn Air Group is a leading provider of regional air transportation and logistics services in Alaska. Headquartered in Anchorage and supported by over 1,000 employees, Ravn utilizes its fleet of over 70 aircraft flying over 3,000 flights per week to provide passenger, mail, charter, and freight services to over 100 destinations throughout Alaska. Ravn Air Group is owned by investment affiliates of private equity firms J.F. Lehman & Company and W Capital Partners, with one of the company’s original founders, the Hajdukovich family, retaining a minority interest.
William Walsh, Ravn Alaska