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Schubach Aviation Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Air Charter Service in San Diego
Company builds on client loyalty, community involvement and passion for flying to prepare for coming decades
Founded in 1992 by Henry Schubach, Schubach Aviation has steadily grown to become the most reputable air charter company in San Diego, based on its legacy for genuine people with a passion for aviation, customer service and the San Diego community. The company operates and maintains a fleet of luxury aircraft at Palomar Airport and Lindberg Field, today employing a staff of 30 people.
Over the past 20 years, Schubach Aviation has managed dozens of private aircraft, flown thousands of passengers, and logged hundreds of thousands of miles all over the world. In the beginning, private air charter was the mode of travel for a small sector of San Diego residents; today, it represents a multi-million-
While much has changed since Schubach Aviation’s formation, three things have not: its commitment to customer satisfaction, safety, and the San Diego community. Schubach Aviation consistently has been named “San Diego’s Best Air Charter Firm” in numerous local surveys, and the company has maintained a flawless safety record.
“I always tell my pilots and staff that we don’t have passengers, we have customers,” said Schubach. “In this business, customer satisfaction has to be the top priority. It’s our mission to get customers anywhere they need to go in the world, when they need to go – safely and comfortably – and home again in time for dinner.”
Schubach’s understanding of the importance of customer satisfaction stems from his background in the retail industry. Starting at age 12, he worked for 15 years in his family’s optical business in Salt Lake City, where his parents owned and operated a chain of 13 optical stores throughout Utah, Idaho and Nevada.
Aviation first became part of his life when he studied it as an elective course in college. He was instantly hooked, and began flying every chance he had. In 1988, he moved from Utah to San Diego County. In 1990, he joined Tango Air, purchased it two years later, and in 1992, renamed it Schubach Aviation.
“Although shifting from retail to private air charter was a somewhat drastic career change, I’ve always held on to one very basic business philosophy: everything is retail -- from selling eye glasses to piloting planes. The ability to sell a product or service is the backbone of any successful business. Exceptional customer service has been key to our success.”
Schubach Aviation’s clientele consists largely of financial, real estate, and biotech industry executives and other frequent business travelers who need to get to one or multiple destinations as quickly and easily as possible. For them, time is money, and privacy is essential. Common destinations for business trips include New York, San Francisco, Denver, and Las Vegas.
In the last few years, the majority of Schubach Aviation’s customers have been personal travelers turned off by the long lines, flight delays, security concerns, inflexible restrictions, and cumbersome itineraries associated with the commercial airlines. When they only have four or five days to get away for a vacation, explained Schubach, they don’t want to spend half that time getting there and back.
Recently, however, business travelers once again have become the majority of Schubach Aviation’s clientele – a sign that the local business climate is improving. As has been the case from the beginning, the majority are repeat customers with whom the company has a long-standing relationship.
“Our client relationships are based on trust,” said Schubach Aviation Operations Manager Dan Hulen. “We make it as simple as possible for customers to fly with us without having to wade through overly complicated contracts. They get straightforward, personalized service from staff who keep detailed profiles and know their preferences. When they call, they get a real person, backed by a team that is eager to fulfill customers’ every request.”
For Schubach, operating San Diego’s largest air charter firm comes with an attractive perk: He gets to pilot customers himself. Customers often request him as their pilot of choice.
Schubach’s passion for flying is matched only by his love of dogs. When it comes to supporting animal welfare organization, he’s a pushover.
During 2011, Schubach Aviation donated one cent for every mile it flew to Helen Woodward Animal Center, concluding the fundraising campaign with a contribution of $10,160 to the organization. A group of 10 Schubach Aviation staff members also participated in the Helen Woodward Animal Center Puppy Love Run/Walk and were honored as the top corporate fundraising team, contributing funds beyond what the company donated.
The homeless dogs at the Escondido Humane Society have also benefited from Schubach Aviation’s soft spot for canines. Each Christmas, the company purchases and delivers a large truckload of dog food, toys, treats, food bowls, and various other supplies to the shelter. The company’s employees pitch in by donating items via a collection box set up at the company’s offices.
Bob, Henry’s beloved Golden Retriever, greets customers at the office each today, along with his companion, Brailey, a black Labrador-mix who was adopted from the Escondido Humane Society six years ago. Schubach Aviation’s “ambassadors”
“We have some serious dog lovers among our customer base,” said Schubach. “Like us, they consider their pets vital members of their family and can’t imagine going somewhere without them. We also fly show dogs from time to time.”
Giving back to the San Diego community has been integral to Schubach Aviation’s core business philosophy for the past 20 years. In addition to animal welfare organizations, the company has generously contributed to numerous other charities that benefit sick and underprivileged children, the U.S. Military, disease research organizations, and other community causes.
The next 20 years look optimistic for Schubach Aviation, which was slightly ahead of sales expectations in 2011. To gear up for the next decades of growth, the company moved last fall to larger, 45,000-square-
Presently, Schubach Aviation operates two wide-bodied Bombardier Challenger 601s, three Hawkers, a Citation Jet, two factory-new CJ3's, and a newly acquired Gulfstream IV-SP. The company has several new acquisitions currently in the works.
“Flying is my passion, but building a business around it has required laying the necessary groundwork,”
About Schubach Aviation:
Schubach Aviation is San Diego’s premier, on-demand charter aircraft carrier, providing the corporate community and leisure travelers with private aircraft charters to anywhere in the world. Founded in 1992 by Henry Schubach, the firm employs a team of highly experienced pilots, mechanics, and support staff at 2026 Palomar Airport Road in Carlsbad, Calif. and at Lindberg Field in downtown San Diego. More information about the company can be found on the web at www.schubachaviation.com.