September 26, 2011
By Dan Namowitz
Actor and pilot John Travolta is starring in a new role as a brand ambassador for Bombardier Aerospace’s Learjet, Challenger, and Global jets.
Not in a movie. It’s the latest real-life aviation part for Travolta, who is a well known jet pilot and owner, and an advocate for general aviation, especially business aircraft.
“John is both a film icon and knowledgeable aviator,” said Steve Ridolfi, president of Bombardier Business Aircraft in a news release on the company website. “He also recently added the Challenger aircraft to the impressive list of 11 different jets he is qualified to fly, an aircraft that offers him the ability to meet his passion for aviation and demanding business travel requirements all in one. We are thrilled to have him as our brand ambassador.”
Travolta said he accepted the role partly because he enjoys being able to project the practicalities and the joys of business flying to the public as a representative of the jet manufacturer.
“Business aviation has always made sense to me in that it offers flexibility, privacy, security, and most importantly, timesaving--meaning I have the ability to keep up with my busy schedule and have more time for my family, which is very important to me,” he said. “On top of that, I’m a pilot; I love to fly. Bombardier designs aircraft as much for the person flying them as for the passenger. I’m proud to represent their aircraft.”
In a 30-year acting career, Travolta has starred in 60 films and received film awards and award nominations, and two aviation awards: the American Institute of Aeronautics Foundation Award for Excellence in 2003, and the Living Legends Ambassador of Aviation award in 2007. He currently holds 11 pilots licenses for both commercial and business jets, Bombardier said.
Travolta also has helped support aviation education through an aircraft donation. In 2002, AOPA reported that he gave a Canadair CL41 Tutor trainer to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University after becoming acquainted with the school located near his airport-community home in Florida.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
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