We Welcome a New PBB Contributor


My intent when I started this blog was not to be the lone voice in the concourse.

But one person went off and started his own blog, another one got a nice new job and a big promotion, and well, then there was the other person — but he’s now back working for an airline again.

Needless to say, if I am going to have someone in here providing some additional commentary, chances are they are NOT going to be currently gainfully employed in the airline industry.  Unless they post anonymously — and I would not be in favor of that.

These limitations, my friends, tend to limit the talent pool.

But hark. This week we welcome a new contributor to PlaneBuzz who, not coincidentally, recently left his position as Executive Vice President of Amadeus Revenue Integrity Inc.  Frank Arciuolo had been EVP of the company since 1995, when the company was known as  Airline Automation Inc. Amadeus purchased the company in 2003.

But hey, if you think this makes Frank a “suit,” think again. In fact, before he left Amadeus, I believe his usual working outfit was a sleeveless T-shirt, flip-flops, and shorts.

Then again, his office was in Tucson.

Frank first began working in the airline bidness in 1974 — and he held various positions with Allegheny Airlines, Eastern Air Lines and New Air. His big Hollywood break came while he was a Station Manager for NewAir, a local regional airline. Frank apparently didn’t have anything better to do, so he sat down and wrote out an aircraft schedule for the company pointing out what he thought were better ways to utilize the fleet. Shortly thereafter he was made Director of Marketing, with responsibilities for aircraft scheduling, pricing, reservations, and passenger service.

A star was born.

Frank became Vice President of Marketing for Business Express in 1984. There he was responsible for scheduling, planning, pricing, revenue management, electronic distribution, and coordination of the Delta Connection program with Delta Air Lines. Business Express began an explosive growth period that saw the airline grow from a fleet of 26 aircraft to a fleet of 70 aircraft, including 5 regional jets. Promoted to Senior Vice President – Marketing and Planning in 1991, the responsibilities of Sales, Advertising, Crew Planning, and Inflight Service were added to his department.

Business Express underwent a sweeping management change in 1994 (translation – Frank got canned by the new CEO).  In his 20 year airline career Frank went through 2 merger/acquisitions, bought stock in his airline that was then worthless a year after he bought it, experienced pay cuts too numerous to list, and finally, got canned by a new boss.

After doing a variety of consulting gigs for 18 months, Frank went to work for AAI and began running their BIDT audit service. These audits served to partially recover an airline’s fees and provide airlines with recommendations on how best to control the cost of booking fees. This service then evolved into an automated flight firming process that AAI provided on a service bureau basis from its computer center in Tucson.

The rest, as they say is history, and trust me, if you knew what this company’s profit margins were, you’d understand why it was the best career move of his life. When Frank left the company, it’s clients included many of the largest airlines not only in the U.S., but the world.

Finally – Frank is also a pilot. His pilot ratings include CFI/A/I/ ME and Airline Transport Pilot. He also just went and blew big bucks to get his Citation CE500 type rating and currently is a part-time flight instructor in the Tucson area.

But aside from all that — Frank is one of the few people I know, who knows this industry, who just tells you what he thinks. All the time. Whether you want to hear it or not.

So who better to come in and be the PlaneBuzz wingman?

Look for Frank to come in and add his two cents (or two bucks) worth whenever he’s got a bee up his, er, whatever. And I warn you in advance, I think you are going to hear a lot about his dog Nikko. I just have this gut feeling this is going to be the case.

Frank should drop in later today. We’re still looking for a photograph or a graphic that illustrates Frank — that we can use every time he posts. But it’s not been easy.

I’m still looking.

But God knows I don’t want some of you to get confused and think that’s me talking when he’s in here.