While San Diegan Kimberley Herrell has called Carlsbad’s Schubach Aviation her professional home since 2005, the president and CEO took on her biggest role yet in January 2020-owner. Founded in 1992 by Henry Schubach, the world-class operation oversees San Diego’s largest fleet of corporation jets, flying clients from its Palomar Airport Road terminal to destinations throughout the United States, Europe and beyond. Now, Herrell is leading Schubach into its next era, launching its Elevated Excursions program through which guests can book one-of-a-kind travel excursions to hard-to-reach destinations.
Then there’s the overall pilot shortage that’s emerged. As commercial airlines bombard pilots with incentives, it’s harder to retain qualified crew, says Janine Iannarelli, founder of business aircraft broker Par Avion Ltd. “It’s one of the biggest problems faced by the aviation industry today.” Kimberly Herrell, president of Schubach Aviation, a charter and aircraft management company in Carlsbad, Calif., says she’s had to increase salaries by an average of 30 percent over the past two years. “We’re seeing pilots with not that much experience get hired out from under us to fly bigger jets,” she says. Iannarelli sources captains for Falcon 900s at around $200,000 a year.
“The pilot shortage is real. It’s not impossible to find the right talent, but as a company, you have to advance an authentic mission and culture that resonates with prospective pilots. Salary is obviously important but isn’t everything for pilots deciding on an employer. You can’t buy quality of life and job satisfaction.” – Kimberly Herrell
With 25 years of experience in private aviation, Schubach Aviation enables quick and easy access to hard-to-reach locations with an exclusive adventure ready the moment you touch down. The Shops at Crystals in Las Vegas holds a number of flagship stores from the finest luxury retailers in the world, and this trip brings exclusive previews for you to peruse in private.
“We’ve definitely felt the effects of the pilot shortage,” says Kimberly Herrell, the president of Schubach Aviation, an aircraft charter and management company located in Carlsbad, Calif. “It’s pretty much industry-wide now. There had been a lot of talk for a long time about how it was going to happen, and then it was here. With that said, we’ve still been able to find quality talent.”
The classic definition of a day trip is usually something along the lines of a short spin into the countryside for a city dweller, or deeper into the countryside for those outside of the city. For those looking for something a bit more unusual and farther away, Schubach Aviation has come up with a selection of day trips by private jet, Elevated Excursions, with a fleet ranging from six passenger to 12 passenger jets if you want to bring some friends along.
Erin Meanley Glenny: Congratulations on being named president earlier this year.
Kimberly Herrell: Thank you!
EMG: The executive team is seven men and one other woman. Any advice for holding your own?
KH: Aviation is a very male-dominated industry. You have to assert yourself. I knew a lot of people were going to automatically underestimate me. Rather than dwell on that or be intimidated, I accepted that I have your attention either way, so I’m going to change your mind.
Carlsbad — When Schubach Aviation’s charter jet pilots take to the skies, they’re flying for more than just their clients’ needs.
They’re also logging miles for charities that have benefited over the past six years from Schubach’s “penny-per-mile” program. This year, Schubach jets should log about 1.2 million miles worldwide, which translates into $12,000 for charity, plus matching gifts.
If you have a free day—just one day—and you’re looking for a memorable way to spend it, Schubach Aviation has a few suggestions. The Carlsbad, California–based charter operator and aircraft-management company recently introduced Elevated Expeditions, a series of curated private-jet day trips from the San Diego area to such destinations as La Paz, Mexico, to swim with sea lions and whale sharks in the Sea of Cortez and a sommelier-led wine-tasting tour through Napa Valley.
“The value behind the quick mobilization and time-saving components of flying private is once-again starting to eclipse any stigma of excess. The bottom line is that people can accomplish a lot more when utilizing private aircraft.” – Kimberly Herrell
“We have seen an increase in corporations utilizing private aircraft for business travel and we expect that to grow in 2018. These travelers require high performance, WiFi-enabled planes that can fly coast to coast. With language in the new tax code, many aircraft owners are delaying plans to upgrade to larger models. This will eventually have an impact on the entire business aviation landscape.” – Kimberly Herrell
His phone number can be found on the speed dial of industry and community leaders, he believes in business by handshake and is admired for the client-centric culture he’s created. What started with a single Cheyenne II aircraft back in 1992 has grown into San Diego’s largest fleet of charter aircraft, Schubach Aviation, flying to destinations from Aspen and Big Sky to exotic locales like Morocco and the Galapagos Islands. At the company’s heart stands founder/president Henry Schubach, known for his candor and philanthropic spirit.