Avantair Ceases Operations

Business Jet Traveler
Piaggio Avanti fractional provider Avantair shut down yesterday and furloughed employees as it “seeks alternative financing arrangements that it hopes will enable it to resume operations."
Piaggio Avanti fractional provider Avantair shut down yesterday and furloughed employees as it “seeks alternative financing arrangements that it hopes will enable it to resume operations."
June 28, 2013, 1:11 PM

Fractional provider Avantair shut down today and furloughed employees as it “seeks alternative financing arrangements that it hopes will enable it to resume operations as quickly and efficiently as possible,” according to a June 26 8-K SEC filing. On Monday, meanwhile, the Clearwater, Florida-based company  received notice of a customer class-action lawsuit. It is in breach of a lease agreement for its six core airplanes, with their repossession by lessors a possibility.

Avantair’s 56 Piaggio Avanti twin turboprops have been grounded since June 6 following allegations that the company was not properly tracking time-controlled parts on its aircraft, requiring detailed inspections to ensure compliance with FAA regulations. The operator also suffered a nearly three-week grounding last October, prompted by maintenance issues surrounding an incident in which an Avantair Avanti shed an elevator during a flight.

Heisman Square, an Avantair fractional shareowner, filed the customer lawsuit in March, saying the incident that led to the first grounding should have been disclosed when it was buying a share in the program in August. On June 24, Avantair “received notice of service of [this] class-action lawsuit.”

Meanwhile, the company is apparently now involved in a fight to prevent its six core airplanes from being repossessed. On June 13, Avantair reached a forbearance agreement with Midsouth Services and Clear Aircraft related to past-due lease payments for these airplanes, the 8-K filing says. But on June 18 and 25, the company was notified that it was in breach of this agreement, “and the lessor has been exercising…all rights and remedies available under the [agreement] and applicable law, including taking possession of its leased aircraft and aircraft engines.”

Avantair also operates 43 fractionally owned aircraft and seven “leased and company-managed” Avantis, according to a June 13 SEC 10-Q filing that discloses its financial situation at the end of its fiscal third quarter, ending March 31. In the quarter, Avantair posted an $8.33 million loss, compared with a nearly $1.6 million loss during the same period last year. Its total deficit is $122.75 million, the filing says.

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Geo
on June 29, 2013 - 9:10am

The Tampa paper is reporting that Avantair is the subject of a class-action lawsuit by the employees for back pay and unpaid overtime. The company is also being investigated for violating the "warn" act for having a mass layoff with no notice.

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M
on June 30, 2013 - 3:42pm

Not sure why you have 2 articles with the same story. in case avantair or your readers, who enjoy watching the FAA and Congress destroy general aviation, missed this story.

Avantair, answer your phones.

The people that want to finance you and buy jet cards can only do so if you answer your phones. I believe there are people that would finance you, but you need to take the phone call good or bad.

Even on the weekends. Even at night. You need to be accountable and accessible. It's a shame that gross negligence or whatever the problem here, that these people don't even answer the phone.

Your marketing and advertising is horrible, always has been. Avantair needs to listen to all offers on the table, not just their buddies/club who allow Steve to get paid more than minimum wage.

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The Phone
on July 1, 2013 - 4:30pm

This the Owner Services phone system. I wanted to take this moment to say that there hasn't been anyone here to answer me since June 26th. All the employees of the company filed out of the building at about 3pm that day and my ringer hasn't stopped ringing since.

Please stop calling me; I'm getting a headache, (if I had a head).

Perhaps you be better off sending a letter. My friend the Mailbox has been lonely since the company stopped paying it's employees.

My other friend the Email Server has been a bit overloaded since all the employees have been bombarding the HR department looking for some to talk to them. Again, since I (the Phone) is not being answered, its the only way to get through to a real Human.

The Humans left there are partially out of service as well, I should warn you. The only ones left in the Executive offices have no Souls. So take that for what it's worth.

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