Ben Baldanza is a business executive who has created and carried out innovative growth plans, disruptive strategies, and full-scale turnarounds in the US airline industry for over thirty years. An adroit leader, Ben is driven by opportunities to change the paths of companies — and the paths of the industries within which these companies can thrive.
Ben is the former CEO and President of Spirit Airlines, the Western Hemisphere’s first “ultra-low cost carrier.” He joined Spirit when it was still a small, unprofitable company and oversaw its transformation into the highest margin airline in the United States. Ben redesigned Spirit’s business model and led it through the IPO process, staying true to the company’s goals to break new ground and disrupt the airline sector. Spirit ultimately earned billions in annual revenue while offering unbundled, stripped-down pricing that was the first of its kind. Recognizing that many airline customers choose price over anything else, Spirit dedicated itself to offering the lowest total price on its routes and this strategy, while controversial to some, worked wonderfully.
Prior to Spirit, Ben had already proven his acumen in turnaround projects, from Continental Airlines’ famous “worst to first” plan to US Airlines’ restructuring via the fastest Chapter 11 Bankruptcy process in US corporate history. He has managed significant cultural changes at multiple companies and has comprehensive experience in finance, marketing, and operations.
Carrying Out Turnaround Projects
Overseeing Finance, Marketing, and Operations
Changing the Face of the Transport Industry
Over the course of his career, Ben Baldanza has earned significant media exposure on national TV, radio, and print. He has appeared as a contributor to numerous business news shows, and his work has been highlighted in national newspapers and airline industry publications. His media proficiency even extends to giving testimony to Congress. Ben was also named “one of the 25 most influential business travel executives of the year” by Business Travel News.
Ben is currently an investor in a broad range of transport opportunities through Diemacher, LLC, which he founded in January of 2016. He serves on the Board of Directors of companies in the airline, medical, and logistic sectors. He has presented as a keynote speaker at multiple business events and is a member of the Washington Speakers Bureau. Additionally, Ben is an Adjunct Professor of Economics at George Mason University, where he teaches an “Airline Economics” class.
With an extensive background in business transformation, cultural change and more, Ben is uniquely equipped to bring his insights to multiple industries and demystify the presence and shifting roles of economics in “real life” scenarios. He earned his undergraduate economics degree from Syracuse University and a Masters of Public Affairs, specializing in Transport Economics from Princeton University.