- Private Aircraft Charter
- Aircraft Management
- Safety & Standards
- About Us
Solairus was built by and with people who have been in the aircraft management business for decades. We are experienced business aviation professionals, accountable only to our clients and our own industry-leading standards for service excellence.
The Solairus model is unique in the industry, in that we practice a personal, relationship-based approach to aircraft charter. We believe that strong, long-term relationships, built on trust and confidence, are the keys to client satisfaction and to our success.
Founded in 2009 and headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, Solairus has over twenty-five base locations across the United States and employs over three hundred flight crew and support personnel to operate a fleet currently numbering over fifty aircraft.
Our specialty is managing flight operations at the owner’s choice of location that meet their specific needs. We know the processes and systems that enable this type of remote operation to work and are continually enhancing them to improve our service.
Aircraft management is our core business. We do not sell aviation related products or services that create economic conflicts between our clients and us. Our mission is to be an advocate for our customers and make aviation decisions with their best interests in mind.
Delivering more than exceptional charter flight services, and offering more than outstanding asset optimization solutions that truly go above and beyond standard aircraft management, Solairus has set course to redefine truly integrated aviation services.
Dan Drohan, an active Airline Transport rated pilot with more than 6500 flight hours, has been in the aviation industry his entire life. Drohan founded Sunset Aviation Inc. in 1992 with an entrepreneurial drive and business and sales acumen that quickly established the company’s reputation for safety and service. As the primary architect of Sunset’s growth, he oversaw the acquisitions and infrastructure initiatives that catapulted the company – now Solairus Aviation – to the forefront of the aircraft charter and management business. As a result of Drohan’s leadership, Solairus now manages one of the nation’s five largest fleets of well-appointed, late-model aircraft, serving clients both domestically and internationally while boasting one of the industry’s most experienced and respected management teams.
In his position as Solairus Aviation Vice Chairman, highly respected industry veteran Jake Cartwright plays a pivotal role in growing the company’s domestic and international business, tapping a depth of experience in aircraft management that is virtually unmatched in the business aviation industry. Cartwright was previously at TAG Aviation USA, where he served as President and CEO. A former Marine Corps F-4 Phantom pilot who served in Vietnam, he has logged more than 10,000 hours of flight time as a commercial pilot. In 1989, he joined Aviation Methods Inc., where he oversaw flight operations, charter sales and marketing, and new business development. Cartwright became president of TAG Aviation USA in 1998 when the TAG Group acquired Aviation Methods. A graduate of Princeton University, he has served on the Associate Member Advisory Council of the National Business Aviation Association and on the board of the National Air Transportation Association.
John King brings more than 30 years of sales, business and financial management experience in a variety of fields including technology, financial services and investment banking. Prior to his role as President, King played an integral role as CFO of the former Sunset Aviation for 4 years. Additionally, King is a commercial pilot and has been involved with multiple aviation endeavors. King holds a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from the University of San Francisco.
A respected veteran of two decades in the aviation industry, Greg Petersen brings to his role as Solairus COO a thorough grounding and proven expertise in flight operations and business development. Prior to Solairus, Petersen oversaw the operations of Utah’s leading full-service, fixed-base operator, helping the company achieve the distinction of being named one of Utah’s fastest growing companies for four consecutive years. Petersen began his career in aviation and gained valuable flight and operations experience while serving 14 years in the United States Navy as an F/A-18 pilot and instructor. Petersen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from Indiana University.
Mark Dennen has nearly 20 years’ experience in the business aviation industry where he has served as the CFO and SVP for several business aviation companies, including TAG Aviation and its successor companies. Mark provides executive leadership in business metrics, process improvement, and contract negotiations while overseeing all financial, accounting, and human resources activities for Solairus Aviation. Mark has also worked as an Audit Supervisor at PricewaterhouseCoopers and has been an active member of the NBAA Tax and Regulatory Committee for over 13 years. Mark is a CPA with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from the University of Rhode Island and an MBA with a major in Finance and Management from New York University’s Stern School of Business.
Bob brings over 30 years of aviation experience to Solairus and has held senior leadership positions for several business aviation service companies. A specialist in organizational development, Bob has also served on the National Air Transportation Association Board of Directors, the Air Charter Safety Foundation Executive Board, and has been a member of several FAA Aviation regulatory and advisory groups. Bob is a recipient of the coveted Flight Safety Foundation “Joe Chase” Award and the NBAA Safety Award. Bob served as a flight crew member on the Lockheed C-5A in the United States Air Force and hold degrees in Sociology and Aviation Technology.
Linda Holmes is a third generation general aviation professional whose family owned the Palo Alto, California airport. Linda’s nearly 20-year aviation career started as a corporate pilot before moving on to TAG Aviation where she managed flight coordination and charter sales. Dedicated to clients and aircrews, Linda was instrumental in developing TAG Aviation’s Client Services department, an accomplishment she has replicated at Solairus Aviation while serving as the company’s Senior Director of Client Services before her promotion to Vice President of her department in 2010. Linda holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in industrial psychology from San Diego State University.
Paul Class brings to Solairus over two decades of experience in the private aviation charter industry. Class’ career includes building sales teams for national aircraft management and charter companies through organic growth as well as team integrations through mergers and acquisitions. Class was the Vice President of Charter Sales at TAG Aviation for nearly ten years, posting consistent double-digit growth while creating national and international sales teams, with offices throughout the world. Class has also served on the National Air Transportation Association’s Air Charter Committee, promoting the interests of Part 135 operators and addressing regulatory and legislative issues. He is a private pilot and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Lynn University with a concentration in aviation management.
A pilot since 1989 and a Gold Seal flight instructor, Tom Benvenuto brings to his position at Solairus an extensive and varied background in commercial aviation, having worked at several internationally recognized airlines flying 737s and other transport category aircraft to destinations across the country. A member of the executive team of Solairus’ predecessor, Sunset Aviation, Benvenuto was the driving force and project leader for achieving the prestigious ARG/US Platinum certification. Benvenuto holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Geography/Climatology from the University of California, Davis.
With over 20 years of aviation maintenance experience, Rene Cervantes brings an unwavering focus on safety to his position of vice president, maintenance at Solairus. Before joining Solairus, Cervantes was the director of maintenance for an esteemed high-utilization Part 135 operation with an ARG/US Platinum rating. Cervantes began his aviation maintenance career during a six-year stint in the United States Navy, maintaining jet aircraft aboard a forward deployed aircraft carrier. His awards include the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal.