Stephanie Chung

Stephanie Chung

President | JetSuite

Industry
Aviation

Location
Dallas


Featured In
CSQ Q1 2020, Air

Stephanie Chung: The President of JetSuite on Ground-Breaking Aircraft Cleaning Procedures and Her Biggest Concerns for the Aviation Industry

Stephanie Chung brings 30 years of experience to the role of President of JetSuite, Inc., where she oversees all aspects of the company, including sales, marketing, revenue management, performance, and guest services. She is the first African American and African American female to lead a major private business aviation company. Celebrating its eleventh year of operation in 2020, JetSuite is a leader in private aviation, providing individualized service, distinctive amenities, a fleet of state-of-the-art jets, and friendly and knowledgeable pilots.

What are your biggest business concerns surrounding COVID-19?

My biggest concern is likely the same as most C-suite executives: the safety of our team, and the success of our business. How do we keep our 120 crewmembers (JetSuite speak for employees) safe and the business afloat, while also continuing to meet the needs for our clients? The lack of predictability of the current environment makes planning difficult, but we want to ensure we not only make it through this, but come out better than before.

What is your current business strategy for dealing with the situation? 

The strategy is changing every day, but two overarching strategies remain consistent: making mindful decisions in how we conduct business and intensifying the aircraft cleaning process. We are adjusting our fleet to mirror demand and putting some aircraft into early scheduled (warranty covered) maintenance to utilize the time to get ahead of long-term maintenance needs. Knowing that the situation is evolving daily, it’s important we have strong contingency plans in place, and communicate our way through this effectively both to our clients and crewmembers. On the sanitation front, we have placed special attention on crewmember education of the viral cleaning process. All aircrafts go through a regular deep cleaning similar to the ones done at medical facilities, all pilots are required to wipe down all high-touch areas after each live leg, and we are also applying an antimicrobial coating system called ClearCabin to the entire fleet. The product is EPA and FDA approved. ClearCabin barrier treatment continues to prevent germs that land on the surface for 90 days.

JetSuite President Stephanie Chung.

How do you think things will look in your industry a year from now?

I foresee a few major shifts. We will see further consolidation and roll-up in our industry. This was a trend pre-crisis and will most likely continue into the near future. On a more granular level, I believe that the overall standards for the cleaning of aircraft will be higher, both in private and commercial aviation. In terms of what JetSuite is doing now, we’re going to be much wiser on how we do business—taking advantage of the down time to improve business practices, strengthen company culture, and identify system efficiencies. I also predict that remote work will remain a consideration post-COVID.

All aircrafts go through a regular deep cleaning similar to the ones done at medical facilities, all pilots are required to wipe down all high-touch areas after each live leg, and we are also applying an antimicrobial coating system called ClearCabin to the entire fleet.

What have you learned from other difficult times in the past?

With more than 30 years of experience in the aviation industry, I’ve been on the front lines of several global crises. I witnessed how the industry responded both after 9/11 and the Great Recession in 2008. Throughout those years, I was fortunate enough to have really incredible leaders who made it a priority to get ahead of the crises by preparing for the future and actively communicating with the employees along the way. They taught me to use the time to reevaluate every process in place, assess department makeup, and re-build flawed processes from the ground up.

Safe–and entertained–at Home: What business leaders are doing with their downtime 

 

Morning routine?
I wake up, draw my blinds to let the light in (I live in a fishbowl!), put on my praise and worship music, stretch, take a shower, and start the day in a positive, reflective mindset.

Currently binging?
Thank goodness Homeland is back! I watch Homeland every Sunday. Another show I’ve been enjoying is Zoe’s Extravagant Playlist. It’s light-hearted and funny, but the relationship with her dad and grappling with his illness touches on subjects close to home that I connect with on a personal level.

Currently reading?
I’ve always been fascinated with the brain, so I tend to read things that are brain-related—new studies about brain health, cellular regeneration, etc. I also love Ted Talks, and have been really getting into edX courses, which are online courses provided by renowned universities—many at no cost.

What are you doing to spend quality time with those you’re sheltering with?
My daughter (29) came home for her birthday last month and, due to the circumstances, has been staying with us ever since. This has been a real treat for me, and I’m taking full advantage! We go for a walk as a family every evening before dinner to clear our heads and spend time together. We walk around Dallas’ design district, which is where we live, and since it’s only open to designers and buyers, but not the general public, it remains dormant in the evenings allowing us to maintain our social distancing.

What are you doing to stay healthy mentally and physically?
I’m limiting the amount of news I watch during the day, and my morning praise music is essential for starting the day out on a positive note. For my physical health, I stretch each morning, and use the Hyperice Hypervolt to loosen up my muscles. But for me, physical health goes beyond exterior maintenance. I’m a huge fan of IV vitamin therapy, which helps with all of the vitamin deficiency that comes with traveling and constantly being on the move. I also recently started using NAD, a form of cellular respiration, that has been an incredible addition to my health routine. My daughter also makes me a gut-healthy smoothie every afternoon.

Where are you dreaming of visiting once things are back to normal?
I was looking forward to attending the Olympics in Tokyo because I’ve never been, and my husband is from Japan. But now what’s really on my mind is a girls’ getaway—somewhere I can get to fast and melt away for a few days—either Napa Valley or Cabo. I’ve never been to the Montage property in Cabo and am dying to go!