Company Completes Series A Financing to Fund Growth
LAKELAND, FL – September 6, 2017 – International Aero Academy, Ltd. today announced it has completed a Series A Preferred Stock financing with strategic industry investors.
IAA is a Lakeland, FL-based FAA-certificated ab initio and accelerated flight school with authority to issue foreign student visas for training. With a focus on training the next generation of domestic and foreign professional pilots, IAA has a growing fleet of Cessna and Piper single and multiengine aircraft, its own modern 12,000 square foot maintenance facility with dedicated maintenance professionals, and over 12,000 square feet of office, onsite dormitory housing for students and training space. IAA acquired the assets of Tailwheels, an FAA CFR 141 Certificated Flight School, in April 2017.
“During our due diligence to acquire an FAA-certificated flight school, Tailwheels became the obvious choice with an unparalleled record of success in accelerated and ab initio training, full service dedicated maintenance capabilities and an extremely supportive airport management team,” said Steven Markhoff, President and CEO of IAA. Tailwheels was the obvious candidate from which to launch our strategic plan.”
“Primary flight training remains one of the last segments of aviation that is not fully professionalized, and we are in the midst of the largest pilot shortage in modern history,” said Gerald Gitner, Non-Executive Chairman. “We see an opportunity to bring our years of aviation experience to operate at the highest level of safety, regulatory compliance and efficiency coupled with a customer service-focused environment.”
Mr. Markhoff previously served as General Counsel of several airlines, including ValuJet, Vice President of Acquisitions at Hawaiian Airlines, General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer of Kitty Hawk, Vice President of Travel Management of Caesars Entertainment and most recently led the FAA 121 certification of a regional airline.
Mr. Markhoff, with over 30 years of flying experience, holds Airline Transport Pilot and Certified Flight Instructor ratings and is type rated in the Boeing 737. Mr. Gitner brings 50 years of aviation executive experience having served as Chairman and CEO of TWA, Vice Chairman and CFO of Pan Am, President of Texas Air, Chairman of Kitty Hawk and a co-founder of People Express. Mr. Gitner has also served on numerous public and private company Boards.
IAA is a leader in ab initio and accelerated flight training with a successful history of total immersion private pilots’ courses, three-week instrument rating courses, two-week Certified Flight Instructor courses and a five-month private pilot through commercial multiengine rating course.
“Our strategic plan and vision is to simply be the best – the best training with industry leading pass rates and an unparalleled commitment to customer service and satisfaction,” Mr. Markhoff stated. “Our reputation for these attributes is attracting those new to aviation, as well as numerous students who have already started their training at other flight schools and wish to enhance their training experience.”
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