President of Glasair Aviation resigns

Just a few weeks after announcing the sale of the company to a Chinese firm, Mikael Via, president and CEO of Glasair Aviation, has resigned from the Washington-based general aircraft company that he has led for over 11 years.

Via, who said “it’s time” to “move on to other challenges in a prepared statement, was hired in 2001 by Thomas Wathen after he purchased the Glasair assets out of bankruptcy. At that time, the company had been out of business for over a year, there were no employees, and customers were without parts, service or support.

Under Via’s leadership, Glasair Aviation built a new team of employees, acquired the Glastar line of aircraft, brought composites production in-house, consolidated operations, designed and developed the highly successful Sportsman aircraft and introduced the “Two Weeks To Taxi” program, company officials said in the statement.

A Glasair line-up at Flabob Airport

Last year, Wathen decided it was time to sell Glasair and asked Via to begin the process of marketing the company for sale. Two weeks ago, Chinese industrialist Fang Tieji, chairman of Jilin Hanxing Group, purchased Glasair Aviation, stating his intentions to certify the Sportsman line of aircraft and acquire additional aviation companies.

A private pilot, Via has a law degree from Pepperdine School of Law.

“It’s time,” said Via. “Since Tom Wathen and I came together in 2001, we accomplished a lot for our employees and customers, and we feel we have contributed to the industry as well. Our mission for Glasair has been successfully completed and it is now time to move on to other challenges.”

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