March 30

“The Rise of Kenn Ricci: From Flying High to Unraveling Success”


Kenn Ricci is a remarkable businessman who has achieved great success in the aviation industry. He has an inspiring journey that shows how dedication, hard work, and enthusiasm can take one to incredible heights. Currently, he is the CEO of Directional Aviation, a multinational aviation holding company. However, his path to success has not been smooth. He has faced numerous challenges, experienced some significant setbacks, and been through times of uncertainty. Nonetheless, his unwavering determination, strategic thinking, and innovative ideas have propelled him to where he is today.

Kenn Ricci’s Early Life

Kenn Ricci was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1955. He had a passion for aviation from a young age, and he would often visit an airport near his home to watch planes take off and land. At 16, he took his first flying lesson and obtained his private pilot’s license a year later. His education included a Bachelor’s degree in finance from Ohio University and a law degree from Case Western Reserve University.

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The Early Rise of Kenn Ricci

After graduation, Kenn started working at a law firm in Cleveland. However, his love for aviation led him to set up his own aviation company, Flight Options, in 1998. He realized that there was a gap in the aviation industry, particularly in fractional ownership. Flight Options offered customers the opportunity to own a fraction of an aircraft, giving them the flexibility and convenience of private aviation without the exorbitant costs associated with sole ownership.

Ricci’s Success with Flight Options

Under Kenn Ricci’s leadership, Flight Options grew rapidly, and in 2007, it merged with a rival company, Raytheon Travel Air, to form the world’s second-largest private aviation company. With a fleet of over 200 aircraft and 1,800 employees, the company generated over $1 billion in annual revenue. Ricci’s innovative approach to aviation had revolutionized the industry.

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The Unraveling of Success

Unfortunately, just as Flight Options’ fortunes seemed to be soaring, the 2008 financial crisis hit, causing the company to suffer a severe dip in revenue. People were unable to afford the luxury of private aviation, and the company faced a massive $700 million debt burden. Ricci had to take drastic action to save the company, including laying off over 300 employees and negotiating with creditors and lenders.

Directional Aviation

Despite these setbacks, Kenn Ricci refused to give up. He established Directional Aviation, which he used to acquire failing aviation companies and turn them around. He implemented cost-cutting measures, improved customer service, and invested in technology to streamline operations. The company grew rapidly, and by 2021, it owned five aviation subsidiaries and had a combined fleet of over 250 aircraft.

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Q: What challenges did Kenn Ricci face in his aviation career?
A: Ricci faced significant challenges, including the 2008 financial crisis that almost crippled his company. Nonetheless, he remained resilient and implemented innovative strategies to turn things around.

Q: How did Ricci revolutionize the private aviation industry?
A: Ricci introduced fractional ownership, which made private aviation more accessible and affordable to individuals who could not afford to purchase a whole aircraft.

Q: What is Directional Aviation?
A: Directional Aviation is a multinational aviation holding company established by Kenn Ricci. The company acquires failing aviation businesses and uses innovative strategies to turn them around.

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Q: How does Kenn Ricci approach business challenges?
A: Ricci approaches challenges with a resilient spirit, strategic thinking, and innovative ideas. He is always looking for innovative solutions to the challenges he faces.

Q: How did Kenn Ricci get into aviation?
A: Ricci developed a passion for aviation from a young age, often visiting an airport near his home to watch planes take off and land. He took his first flying lesson at 16 and obtained his own private pilot’s license a year later.

Q: What is Ricci’s approach to innovation?
A: Ricci is a forward-thinker and always looking for new ways to solve problems. He encourages innovation and invests in technology to streamline operations.

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Q: What is the future of Directional Aviation?
A: Directional Aviation is set to become a significant player in the aviation industry. The company is continually acquiring failing aviation businesses and turning them around.


Kenn Ricci’s story teaches us that success is not a smooth ride. One must have resilience, determination, and innovative thinking to overcome the challenges that come with achieving one’s goals. Ricci’s passion for aviation, coupled with his strategic thinking and resilient spirit, have propelled him to great heights. It is an inspiring journey that teaches us that with dedication and hard work, anything is possible.

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