When KIWIs Flew
The Diary of a Mad Airline Entrepreneur
How Entrepreneurial Hardball Built the Best Airline in America
In less than two years, I went from an unemployed Eastern Air Lines pilot to founder and CEO of the “Best Airline in America.” Without a penny or a clue, I started KIWI International Air Lines from scratch by tapping into the deepest needs of my fellow bruised and battered, out-of-work Eastern colleagues. Entrepreneurs and job-seekers can learn valuable lessons about personal resourcefulness, determination, and hope from this universal story. In March 1989, the pilots, mechanics, and flight attendants of Eastern Air Lines walked out on strike. The company eventually failed, and 27,000 workers lost many of the best jobs in America. Some built new lives, some muddled through, and some never recovered. But several hundred invested their money and talents with me to create an exciting new career opportunity. In 1993, Condé Nast Traveler named KIWI “Best Airline in America.” By combining financial and professional resources we reclaimed our dignity from a triad of industry, government, and union agendas that had done its best to destroy us. Instead of cowering and giving up, we joined forces, believed in each other, and overcame every obstacle. The risky journey began in early 1990 as nothing but a dream and the first flight took off in September of 1992. When I left in 1995, KIWI was a $120,000,000 airline employing 1,200 workers, with 15 Boeing 727s carrying 1,000,000 passengers a year, and poised for an IPO. This is a true story of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
Format: 6 x 9 Black & White Paperback, 603 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (Jan 29, 2017)
Genre: BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Entrepreneurship