MICHELE WILKINSON – A CAREER IN PRIVATE AIR CHARTER TRANSPORTATION
With over 35 years of rich experience in the airline, air charter, and transportation industry, Michele has established herself as an accomplished operations executive capable of challenging projects worldwide as she managed Bon Jovi’s Worldwide tour of all his band and stage equipment by charter flights to over a dozen countries in a chartered cargo aircraft.. Her career trajectory includes a ten-year tenure at Braniff International, a major international airline based in Dallas, where she began in reservations, and climbed the ladder to become the first female ramp and operations manager at DFW International Airport. She also has substantial experience with Flying Tiger Line, a cargo carrier purchased by FedEx, where she honed her skills in sales, operations, and management.
Michele's versatility led her to found Tailwind International, an air charter company, in 1989, which merged with Global Wings Express in 2016 after 27 successful years of operation. Under her leadership, Tailwind arranged air charters for groups as diverse as UN peacekeepers, Arctic Winter Games participants, Lockheed Martin and US Navy personnel. Also having worked for the US State Department who chartered a 747 from Tailwind International to Libya with empty bladders, during Gaddafi’s rule when he gave up his WMD’s weapons of mass destruction.
Also, Tailwind and the US State Department worked together to charter a U.S. 747 for the transportation of empty bladders into Libya for the removal of the WMD’s when during Gaddafi’s rule, he gave up his weapons of mass destruction. In 2011, she expanded the company's operations by purchasing a Part 135 certificated airline of Falcon 20 jets, operated both domestically and internationally. Six years later, she founded Wine Flights VIP, an innovative endeavor merging her aviation background with the hospitality industry to provide high-end, exclusive experiences into unique and private vineyards.
A life member of The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) and recipient of prestigious awards, Michele, with her unquenchable thirst for learning and problem-solving, continues to raise the bar in service and communication excellence. She has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to fostering talent and making a difference, leading by her motto: