Sierra Expressway

By H. Grousbeck, Brian Keare
1996 | Case No. E31
This case chronicles the story of the founding, life, and demise of Sierra Expressway, a small regional airline in California. It starts with the story of Dan Brumlik’s efforts to get Sierra Expressway off the ground and recruiting an initial management team. He hires Scott Beckemeyer and the two try to raise capital for the new venture. They have significant trouble doing this, but finally get a deal with an aircraft supplier, which basically provides them capital as a way to sell their airplanes. They wound up switching their supplier and main finance source to British Aerospace, also a provider of airplanes. After this deal, they found some more investment from a wealthy individual knowledgeable with the industry. After a few months of operation, they were drastically underperforming expectations and were losing significant money. As they began to run out of money, they thought they found another source of capital, but the deal fell through at the last moment as the aircraft company and investor, British Aerospace, declined to invest more money and started legal proceedings to regain their aircraft. Sierra Expressway loses the court hearing and have to return the planes. Without planes and without much additional money, the company has no choice but to discontinue operations. Teaching Note available.
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