Born in Greenwich, Connecticut, Jon Winthrop has a Bachelor’s degree in business finance and marketing from the University of Southern California (USC), graduating in 1977. After working for IBM and Avjet Corporation, Jon founded The Air Group in November 1980, a global aviation services company focused on business aircraft acquisitions and sales, aircraft management and charter, aircraft maintenance and aviation consulting.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, The Air Group operated and represented all the major aircraft manufacturers such as Boeing, Airbus, Gulfstream Aerospace, Bombardier, Dassault, British Aerospace/ Hawker Beechcraft, Cessna, Learjet and Embraer. As Chairman and CEO of The Air Group, Jon had complete operational and P&L responsibility and managed the company from start up to its successful sale in 2007.
Operating primarily large cabin business aircraft with fleet asset values of over $1.5BB, The Air Group employed 335 personnel in 9 locations, including 2 offices in Japan. The Air Group pioneered corporate aviation in Japan and was the first aircraft management company to base and operate corporate aircraft in that country. In December 2007, Jon sold the company to an equity fund headed by AIG and HSBC, and at the time of its sale, the company had revenues of just under $100MM. Jon stayed with the company until management responsibilities were completed in September 2010.
In April 2011, Jon joined Jet Aviation Flight Services, Inc., as Vice President and Managing Director, Western United States and Asia Pacific, to start up their Los Angeles branch office. Jet Aviation is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics Corporation and along with Gulfstream Aerospace, makes up the Aerospace Group for General Dynamics.
Jon retired from Jet Aviation in the summer of 2017 to start up The Air Group again - this time as a consulting company working with a very seasoned group of aviation professionals. In addition to his consulting activities, he is a Senior Advisor to Kerlin Capital Group, LLC, which provides investment banking services to the aviation industry, and a Senior Advisor to Jet Transactions, an aviation services company specializing in business aircraft sales and acquisitions. He is a member of the Airbus (EADS) Corporate Advisory Board and an outside director for the United States Navy’s Tailhook Educational Foundation. Jon is one of a very few honorary members of the US Navy’s Flight Demonstration Team, The Blue Angels.