A recent contribution to Forbes provides a chilling recap of the turbulence experienced by several jet providers (and their customers) during the last 12 months:
- Zetta Jet went into Chapter 7 bankruptcy leaving in its wake over $50 million in unpaid bills and lost prepaid charter deposits.
- Atlanta-based ImagineAir ceased operations at the end of May, again leaving customers separated from their money.
- Surf Air was slapped with a $3.1 million lawsuit by an operator alleging unpaid bills and revealed that in May the IRS hit them with a $2.4 million lien for unpaid Federal Excise Tax.
- JetSmarter, which had launched a membership model-pay membership fees and then fly for free-announced that new members now have to pay for all flights, even empty legs, and non-members can buy seats on flights as well.
- Air Chicago, which was hoping to start by-the-seat membership flights in June announced that it has pushed its launch to September due to slow sales.
- Fifteen months after acquiring aircraft operator Blink UK, Wijet is closing its U.K. operations and moving to a “charter clearinghouse” model utilizing third-party operators.
Having seen dozens of providers come and go over the years, Shaircraft CEO, James Butler, has identified three major weaknesses that cause jet providers like WIJET, Zetta Jet, ImagineAir, Surf Air, JetSmarter & others, to stumble or fall - bad business models, poor management, and/or lack of funding.
Butler, who has been independently advising private air travelers for more than 20 years, works with private air travels to help mitigate the risks associated with jet investments. Whether you’re considering a new private jet investment, or have concerns about your current provider, contact Shaircraft to discuss how we can help!