The Wings Club Foundation, Inc. is pleased to announce that Bill Franke, Managing Partner, Indigo Partners LLC, will receive this year’s Distinguished Achievement Award. Acknowledging Mr. Franke’s outstanding accomplishments in the field of aviation, The Wings Club Foundation will present this award on Oct. 28, 2022, at the 80th Annual Awards Gala to be held at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York.
During Mr. Franke’s business career, he has been the Chief Executive Officer of an Industrial Fortune 500 forest products company, Chairman of a large regional bank, Chairman of a large U.S. convenience store company, and, from 1993 to August 2001, Chief Executive Officer of America West Airlines (now integrated into American Airlines).
Mr. Franke served as the founding Chairman of Airplanes Group, Ltd., a $5 billion aircraft finance vehicle created from the aircraft portfolio of GPA Group plc., the Irish aircraft leasing company. Mr. Franke was the founding Chairman of Tiger Airways (Singapore), served as Chairman of Spirit Airlines (U.S.), serves as Chairman of Wizz Air (Hungary), Frontier Airlines (U.S.), JetSMART Airlines (Chile and Argentina), Lynx Air (Canada), and APiJET an airline flight management software company. He is a director of Volaris (Mexico), and an advisor to Cebu Pacific Airlines (Philippines). He has served on and chaired several public company boards of directors in the U.S., Europe, and Latin America.
Mr. Franke was born in Texas and raised in Latin America. He has undergraduate and graduates degrees from Stanford University and honorary PhDs from Northern Arizona University and the University of Montana.
His family includes his wife Carolyn, their five children, and nine grandchildren. The family is major financial supporter of education, including gifts to Northern Arizona University, the University of Montana, the University of Arizona, the Mayo Clinic Medical School of Arizona, and Stanford University and Law School.