An Interview with Bob Holden – Senior VP of Sales and Marketing at Surf Air
Dear Californians and those who visit frequently: Have you ever dreamed of traffic-free travel throughout this great state? Has the vision of hopping aboard a private plane to get from Northern California to Southern California ever seemed very appealing when idling in gridlocked traffic? So let’s be honest: Wouldn’t it be sweet to get the perks of owning a private plane, without…owning a private plane?
Enter, Surf Air.
Surf Air has been described as a “Netflix-style subscription plan for private flying.” It has also been referred to as the leader in the all-you-can-fly private aviation industry. How it works: Surf Air offers a premium aviation service, availing unlimited flights to its members for a monthly fee, allowing them to travel quickly, simply and comfortably anywhere in California and increasingly, in the other states and Europe as well. Members can arrive just fifteen minutes before the flight—enough time to greet the concierge and follow their pilots out to the plane for takeoff.
We caught up with Bob Holden, Surf Air’s new Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing to learn more about this company, set to shake up the aviation industry in all the right ways.
Q: What intrigued you most about Surf Air, such that you were attracted to apply for the position you now hold?
Bob Holden: I was connected to Surf Air through a former work colleague who has consulted with the company; he knew that they were looking for someone to lead a combined Marketing & Sales function. What really intrigued me about the business is the audacity of the business model. Attempting to disrupt one of the most challenging industries—with a business model that has never been attempted in the space—takes a lot of courage and vision. I wanted to be a part of that.
Q: What will surprise customers in the coming year? In three years?
BH: I’d say the number one thing is going to be the expansion of our network and our ability to quickly respond to customer needs.
Q: What other states and popular routes is Surf Air looking to expand into right now?
BH: One of the really unique things about Surf Air is that we actively solicit feedback from our customers to help us determine what other cities we should fly to. Recently we launched an exciting tool on our website that allows our customers to tell us what routes they are interested in, and if they want to, they can put a $500 deposit down on routes that are of interest to them to reserve their spot when the route launches. The $500 is refundable if we decide not to move forward with the route, but it’s a great way for us to expand to where our customers want us to go.
Q: Which cities we can look forward to flying into in Europe in the future?
BH: We recently announced that we are expanding our European Service to include London/Cannes, as well as London/Ibiza. More cities are on the way but I can’t comment on those just yet!
Q: Lastly, for good measure: If you could give a Surf Air guest pass to anyone—living, dead or fictional— so that you could spend and hour in one-on-one conversation with them, who would it be?
BH: Aside from the people that I think everyone would pick because they were incredible humans (Martin Luther King Jr., Jesus, Mother Theresa) I would pick Leonardo Da Vinci. He was so multi-talented and incredibly talented—Truly amazing. I would also pick Sojourner Truth, she was so incredibly brave and I find that remarkable.
See all of SurfAir’s destinations and membership perks at surfair.com