Joel Biggerstaff

Many commercial airlines are struggling post-Sept. 11, and cargo and delivery carriers are no exception.

However, AirNet Systems Inc. in Columbus is posting increases in net revenue (third quarter revenue was $35.3 million) despite the slow economy and changing air regulations.

Chairman, president and CEO Joel Biggerstaff, says customers have discovered additional advantages to using AirNet in the last few months.

Like other airlines, AirNet, with more than 1,000 employees, was shut down for two days following the Sept. 11 attacks. Then it gained an exemption so it could fly support flights for the American Red Cross, and customers utilized it for shipments normally flown by commercial airlines.

“We specialize in time-sensitive shipments,” says Biggerstaff. “We fly a number of time-sensitive documents for banks, such as cancelled checks. Commercial lines had reduced schedules so many companies turned to us, giving us the opportunity to shine where we perform the best.”

The company has seen an increase in this business, and its charter business is also gaining momentum.

“For companies that don’t own jets or a time-share, we offer a high quality alternative,” says Biggerstaff. “We are going to be more aggressive in this business.”

The Sept. 11 attacks have affected how the company operates and it is taking steps to implement more security.

“We will see additional security measures on cargo shippers, after the people issues are addressed,” says Biggerstaff. “And there will be additional insurance costs.”

However, Biggerstaff is confident AirNet’s business will continue to grow.

“We think shippers need alternatives,” he says. “And so do travelers. With our flexibility, our niches will be in cargo and charters.”

Biggerstaff says that his success and that of his business stems from his management style.

“I try to create an environment where people step up and perform to the best of their capabilities,” he says. “My success comes from the quality of those I work with.” How to reach: AirNet Systems, Inc., (888) 888-8463 or