Alpine Air Alaska appoints Sasha Swift as general manager

Alpine Air Alaska, LLC recently announced that Sasha Swift has been promoted to general manager. She assumes this responsibility from Deb Essex, who has run the company with her husband Keith for 15 years and will remain as senior manager with a focus on staff training and development. Swift will report to the company’s president and board of directors, and will consult closely with Andy Wallace, director of operations. Along with other members of the executive team including director of maintenance Casey Fagerquist and chief pilot Turner Pahl, Swift will manage a fleet of 14 helicopters and four locations in south central Alaska.

Alpine Air Alaska Photo
Along with other members of the executive team, Swift, pictured here, will manage a fleet of 14 helicopters and four locations in south central Alaska. Alpine Air Alaska Photo
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“Sasha joined us five years ago and quickly took on complex responsibilities in the business,” said Keith Essex, president. “She is an excellent team manager with a background in marketing, operations, finance, and administration. This is a natural progression for her and a much deserved promotion.”

Swift began her aviation career in 2005 with the United States Air Force, as air traffic controller for 14 airports. After years in diverse roles with finance companies and technology start-ups, Swift joined Alpine Air Alaska in 2015 as director of marketing before taking on her most recent position as assistant general manager last year.

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Founded in 1991, Alpine Air Alaska is the longest-serving helicopter operator in south central Alaska. Owners of the company, Alaska-based investment firm Pt Capital, Fairbanks-based Binkley family, and the Essex’s, are committed to growing the communities they serve and maintaining their roots in south central Alaska. Alpine Air Alaska offers helicopter tours and charters across the state. Tourism products include year-round flightseeing, glacier landings, and helicopter-glacier dog sledding. Charter work includes utility and industrial support, remote operations, refuelling, long line sling, luxury charters and heli-adventures.

Its sister company, Alyeska Helicopters, is the only FAA-approved helicopter flight school in Alaska and houses a certified Robinson Helicopter maintenance facility. With four locations – Girdwood, Anchorage, Seward, and Valdez – Alpine Air Alaska is positioned to serve a wide range of charter support opportunities and provide access to extraordinary terrain for glacier flightseeing tours.

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