Air Transport World

Conservative approach keeps Sun Aire out of California commuter graveyard.

Palm Springs--"Conservative" is the word that crops up most often when the officers of Sun Aire talk about their airline--and therein may lie the key to this commuter's survivability. In a state where regional carriers are prone to spectacular failure, Sun Aire has gone its quiet way for nearly 16 years now, growing from a single Cessna 402 carrying 709 passengers between two cities in 1969 to a fleet of 12 Swearingen Metros transporting 327,000 passengers among 12 California and Arizona points in 1983.

"We are not speculators," Sun Aire president George J. Kuhrts III replied when asked by Air Transport World to account for his carrier's success. "We are conservative. We try to use sound business discipline and to avoid making emotional decisions. You have to learn how to say no.

"And," he added, "we feel it is important to make a profit." He was not willing to reveal how much Sun Aire netted on its $16.4 million in revenues in 1983, but said the bottom-line figure was "healthy."

Says Sun Aire founder and now VP-operations H. L. Van Sickle, "We are very conservative. Everything we do is studied very carefully." Additionally, "We work hard at giving the public good service, because service is really all we have to offer." Comfortable expansion rate

"There's no real magic in what we do," says VP Michael Di Giorgio. "We just perform like an airline is supposed to perform." In Sun Aire's case, he says, this means scheduling for good departure times and good connections to the major carriers at airports like Los Angeles International, and operating on time. …

Log in to your account to read this article – and millions more.