Oakleigh Thorne will take on the additional role of Chairman of the Gogo Board of Directors in 2021. Ronald LeMay informed the Board of his intention to retire as Chairman and step down from the Board, effective December 31, 2020. Thorne currently serves as President and CEO of the company.
As we embark on this new chapter for Gogo, we’re pleased to appoint Oak to the additional role of Chairman. We believe his strategic vision, proven leadership capabilities and ability to execute through market challenges make him the right person to lead the Gogo Board going forward.– Lead Independent Director Hugh Jones
Thorne credits LeMay with “guiding the company during some of the most challenging and pivotal times in Gogo’s history; culminating with the successful sale of our CA business to Intelsat earlier this year,” even as Thorne was seen as the face of that effort. Now, with that major transaction completed, Thorne is poised to further concentrate control of the company into the next phase of its evolution.
Redoubling the company’s focus on the business aviation market, Thorne expects to “drive value for our customers, employees and shareholders” in the years to come. That means continuing to grow the rollout of the AVANCE platform as well as development work on the Gogo 5G network upgrade efforts.
Despite the ups and downs of the year Gogo reported earlier this month that it expects to close 2020 with more subscribers on its Business Aviation Air-to-Ground in-flight connectivity network than when it started the year. In early May the company saw 22% of its ATG accounts suspended and another 22% switching to a lower price plan. But the BizAv IFC market recovery proved robust, and the company saw strong demand into Q3.
Average stage length for the BizAv market increased about 10% and total ATG aircraft online hit 5,577 in Q3, only 2% down from the January 2020 peak. That number is expected to top 5,700 by the time the year closes on Thursday.
Plus the planes coming (back) online are generally paying for a higher tier of service. Average revenue per aircraft per month hit $2,996 in Q3, just a few dollars (6%) short of the Q4 2019 peak. Gogo says that October 2020 saw 83% of the flight count of a year prior, with larger fleet operators running at par to their 2019 numbers.
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