Skyqueen Enterprises is a company that specializes in private jet travel. Skyqueen, which has been located at Westchester County Airport since 2007, has worked with corporations and individuals to buy and manage business jets and offer support services. From King Airs to Gulfstreams, the company provides valuable services to owners and operators regarding aircraft acquisitions, charters and maintenance. Skyqueen was founded by Millie Hernandez-Becker in 2004 after a successful airline and general aviation career. We recently caught up with Millie Hernandez Becker, President of Skyqueen and asked her some questions about air travel in Westchester.
What are the trends you’re seeing and hearing about in air travel?
Corporate aviation is business aviation — and it has a long-standing legacy of servicing and supporting the business community around this country. As innovative companies started growing in cities and states that were not primary travel hubs, there was a need to create air travel access to support those communities. While we have world-class airports in the NYC area, it’s more difficult to get to other locations like Pittsburgh or Buffalo. The top three underlying tenets of air travel are convenience, flexibility and access. Customers want to get quickly in and out of an airport, they want options, and they need to get to their destinations without lots of connections and delays. Companies are innovating to fill this need.
Westchester is very unique because it has both – individuals who appreciate the convenience for personal travel, and businesses of all sizes that appreciate the convenience and flexibility of traveling out of a local airport rather than the cost and time to make the trip to a larger NYC airport. Companies like Skyqueen are filling a niche for people who want a more direct service than the other airlines are providing. Now, business executives will share a charter when they both need to fly to one location. They value having greater control over their schedules and avoiding the time commitment of heading to JFK.
Why did you invest in Westchester?
Westchester County Airport is really a jewel that serves everyone in the county. We’re seeing a real loyalty to the airport with college students shuttling back and forth to school in Boston or Washington, and lots of families and seniors heading to Florida to get a break from the NY winter. We hear every day from business travelers who value the convenience — it’s really easy access from home or work for many of them. Not only that, but the airport has so many talented and dedicated employees — it’s a great provider of high-quality jobs to our county.
What do you hope for Westchester County Airport and Skyqueen going forward?
We’re hopeful that the Westchester County Airport and Corporate Aviation will be around for a long time to come, and that more and more people will see that private charter is a viable option for them. We also hope to support the investment and innovation at the airport to keep it a viable alternative for the future. We’d love to see a partnership to improve the infrastructure and environmental impact at no cost to the county taxpayers. We were very happy to see that the Board of Legislators unanimously approved the funding to pave the runways as we think this is an important safety step.
I am also proud of the travel and tourism industry growth in Westchester – hitting a new record last year of $1.9 billion and we want to see that grow. We want to see the general aviation community and the airline community come together to create a balance between what the needs of the airport are – critical infrastructure updates – and quality of life issues for those in the surrounding areas. We really believe that a compromise can happen here and that the residents of the country will see that the Westchester County Airport is indeed an asset to our community.