Business Aviation Executive Team
Our Team Leaders
Our team has a wealth of experience in various sectors of the Aviation Industry. Together, we are committed to excellence, teamwork, professionalism, and passion to create a unique Business Aviation experience for our customers.
PETER MAESTRALES | CEO & Founder
Boca Raton native, Peter Maestrales, got an early start on his aviation career with his first flying lesson coming at age 10 and by spending much of his childhood at executive airports in South Florida. The Maestrales family has been active in the Business Aviation community in South Florida for over 40 years.
In 2001, Peter began working in scheduling and dispatch for Commercial Aviation Enterprises, Inc. (CAE), a South Florida based corporate jet operator specializing in Aircraft Management, 24hr Charter Services, Air Cargo, and Air-Ambulance missions. During the next four years he handled charter sales, operations scheduling, flight coordinating, and aircrew planning. Peter was promoted to Director of Charter Sales & Jet Management for CAE in 2005 and gained experience managing charter and sales personnel, strategic planning for new clients, and corporate aircraft transactions.
However in 2008, Pete made a serious step towards a Business Aviation career when he founded Airstream Jets, Inc at Boca Raton Airport (KBCT). Tapping into his unique perspective, Peter has developed a simple strategy focused on two core Business Aviation services to help customers select the most efficient and cost-effective method to travel: On-Demand Private Air Charter & Professional Aircraft Management.
Since 2008, ASJ has built an outstanding reputation as a leading Business Aviation Company and has expanded to international markets by opening new offices in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto, Canada. A central focus of the organization is maintaining “win-win” relationships with industry partners through a business approach based upon a mutual exchange of value, respect, honesty, cooperation, and efficiency.
Peter is also a member of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and also works as an independent Business Aviation Consultant for hedge funds and other leading financial institutions in the United States. On behalf of his clients, Peter provides Business Aviation market analysis, forecasting, information for strategic planning, and intelligence on corporate fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters worldwide.
Peter is also a former Olympian and professional athlete. He participated in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.
DEBBIE HIGGINS | President
Debbie Higgins began her Business Aviation career in 1988 as a flight attendant for Renown Aviation, a Part 121 Air Carrier operating out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. From the moment she stepped onto a business jet she knew this was the career for her. She excelled at the company and was promoted to Chief Flight Attendant and Sales Manager during her 12 year tenure with the company.
After her experience as a flight attendant and her strong work ethic Debbie moved into management roles for several flight departments in the South Florida and New York areas. Before long she was promoted to sales manager at Arawak Aviation at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport. Her strong aptitude for customer service, sales and attention to detail allowed Debbie to thrive in this environment and develop sales teams who thrived under her leadership.
Debbie also ran the flight department at Aero Toy Store for several years where she was a great success in growing the flight department. Originally from the Northeast and with a desire to move back to her roots Deb took a position with PrivatAir in Bridgeport, Connecticut in retail sales. Always excelling at each company Deb went on to a VP of Sales role at Arcadia Aviation and was also VP of Charter Sales for Key Air, an aircraft management & charter company headquartered in Oxford, Connecticut. While at Key Air Debbie oversaw a charter fleet of business jets that included the ultra-long-range Global 5000, Gulfstream G-V, G450, and G-IVSP models. The charter fleet also included the Falcon 2000LX, 900EX, Challenger 604, Hawker 800XP and Learjet 45 aircraft models.
After Key Air’s merger with Clay Lacy Deb decided to venture out on her own and formed Galaxy Jets in 2016 at Teterboro Airport.
In addition to Galaxy, she is also the founder of Aero Education Academy (AEA) which she started in 2017 as a result of her 30+ years of experience and her passion to train and mentor future business aviation professionals. AEA offers students entry-level training and mentoring for a career in the private aviation industry. Through AEA and in partnership with the National Air Transport Association (NATA) and National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), Debbie has been selected to lead a committee for workforce development for the Northeast region.
In 2019 Debbie merged Galaxy with Florida based Airstream Jets and assumed the position of President of Operations. The new venture was the result of shared values and the growth potential associated with ASJ’s new DISTANCE CARD™, a mileage-based jet card program that challenges the status quo of traditional block-hour pricing systems.
With bases now in Boca Raton and at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey Debbie’s focus will be on providing greater customer service and helping to achieve organizational growth and excellence that her clients have already come to expect from her.
Debbie Higgins, President
As Director of Safety & Owner Services, Gus Maestrales helps to lead a company dedicated to air charter excellence and providing aircraft owners with a more positive and cost-effective ownership experience.
With nearly 40 years of senior management experience in business aviation, Gus is an expert in corporate aircraft acquisitions, FAA and DOT regulatory matters, Safety Management Systems (SMS) solutions, cross-border transactions, aircraft management, aircrew planning, and flight operations.
Mr. Maestrales’ aviation career began in 1969 when he earned his commercial pilot’s license and by 1976 founded Commercial Aviation Enterprises, Inc. (CAE), a FAA Authorized FAR Part 135 Air Charter & Air-Ambulance Company based at Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport. CAE was acquired by private investors in 2013, but during his 37 years as Owner and Director of Operations Gus owned, managed, and operated a total of 69 different corporate aircraft while logging over 16,000 hours of worldwide flight experience in fixed-wing aircraft, commercial helicopters, and amphibious airplanes.
At the 2008 National Business Aviation Association annual convention Gus was presented an award from Sabreliner Corporation on behalf of his company (CAE) for safely operating aircraft for over 25 years.
To compliment his role at Airstream Jets, Gus also works as a contract pilot. He currently holds a type rating in the Gulfstream G-V and Gulfstream G-550.
With unmatched experience in his field, Gus also provides technical, operational, and asset-based consulting services to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), private aircraft owners, corporate flight departments, FAR Part 135 Air Carriers, air cargo operators, and air-ambulance operations.
Gus is also United States Marine Corps Sgt. (Ret.), Gold Seal Flight Instructor, and FAA certified Check Airman. He currently holds an ATP rating for both fixed wing aircraft and commercial helicopters.
Francesca is responsible for the creative design strategy that defines the Airstream Jets brand. She directs all marketing and social media strategies associated with the organization.
Francesca has a bachelors degree in Fashion Merchandising from the University of Delaware. Prior to Joining Airstream Jets, Francesca worked in NYC for Vivre’ a luxury fashion catalog and Celine, and afterwards, landed a job in the Merchandising and Production Department of Hugo Boss’ NYC location. She is also the Founder and Creative Fashion Designer at Nuova Vita, where she designs and manufactures women’s maternity dresses, and convertible dresses for any occasion.
Francesca has nearly ten years of corporate aviation experience. She has served in various roles including scheduling/dispatch, marketing, branding, contract negotiations, creative design, business development, customer service, web development and on-demand charter sales. This broad perspective provides her with a well-rounded foundation in Business Aviation that allows her to understand and adapt to the unique dynamics present in the industry.
Francesca’s most recent creation was the design and physical production of the company’s new jet card, the DISTANCE CARD™, an innovative private jet travel product designed to combine the convenience of Jet Cards and Fractional Ownership with the value and flexibility found only in On-Demand Charter.
Francesca’s attention to detail, professionalism, and advocacy for Business Aviation has earned her a loyal and growing client base in the Miami and New York areas.