New leadership for cargo carrier Reliable Airlines

Tom Klassen, president and director of operations, Reliable Airlines. Photo: Business Wire

US cargo airline Reliable Airlines has appointed Tom Klassen as president and director of operations to support the growth of operations and future integration of safety-enhancing systems developed by its parent company, Reliable Robotics.

Klassen has 40 years of combined management, regulatory and flying experience. His career includes Part 135, Part 121 and Part 91 operations in helicopters, turbo-prop and turbine aircraft.

Most recently, Klassen served as chief executive and director of operations for HALO-Flight, a helicopter air ambulance service. He has held director of operations and chief pilot roles, managing domestic and international operations.

He has also been a member of two Federal Aviation Administration aviation rulemaking committees.

Klassen will work alongside Jeff Drees, director of cargo strategy, former 35-year Ameriflight executive. 

Reliable Airlines was previously known as AirDialog. The airline has been renamed to align it more closely with Reliable Robotics. 

Reliable Robotics is designing an automation system that will enable auto-taxi, auto-takeoff, and auto-landing and has sophisticated fault detection to identify and respond to unanticipated anomalies faster.

“This is the next evolution of aviation,“ said Klassen. “Reliable will incrementally introduce new technology into our airline operation, bringing unprecedented levels of safety to cargo aircraft. It’s exciting and meaningful to me personally to be a part of this transformation.”

“It’s been great to see the airline expand routes, hire more pilots and assemble an experienced team. Tom’s proven leadership, and strong focus on safety aligns directly to company goals,” said Robert Rose, co-founder and chief executive of Reliable Robotics.

Reliable Airlines is a Part 135 airline founded in 2004. In 2022, the company relocated its central base of operation to Albuquerque, New Mexico to provide air cargo services.

The airline started FedEx feeder cargo flight operations in the southwest US in June last year.

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Rebecca Jeffrey

Rebecca Jeffrey
New to aviation journalism, I joined Air Cargo News in late 2021 as deputy editor. I previously worked for Mercator Media’s six maritime sector magazines as a reporter, heading up news for Port Strategy. Prior to this, I was editor for Recruitment International (now TALiNT International). Contact me on: [email protected]