The assets of Clearwater Fla.-based Avantair will be sold and the company liquidated after it failed to meet an August 13 deadline to contest an involuntary Chapter 7 filing in the Florida Middle District U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Tampa. Judge Catherine McEwen signed an order during a hearing on August 16 authorizing the case to proceed under Chapter 7.
On Thursday, four Texas-based creditors filed an involuntary Chapter 7 (liquidation) bankruptcy filing against Avantair in Florida’s Middle District (Tampa) U.S. Bankruptcy Court. A summons was sent to Avantair on Friday and the company has until August 16 to respond. If Avantair does not respond by then, the court may allow the bankruptcy case to proceed; if it does respond, a hearing will be set and the judge will then decide if the case has merit to proceed.
A September 7 creditors meeting is expected to appoint liquidators to handle the assets of the UK-based Ocean Sky group’s aircraft charter, management and brokering divisions.
Financial records at French air charter operator Blue Line are being scrutinized following the company’s compulsory liquidation on October 6 with debts of €37 million ($52 million). The suddenness of the 200-employee company’s demise prompted the judge in charge of the liquidation to tap a certified public accountant to investigate Blue Line’s financial affairs. A preliminary report is to be released by year-end.
JetChoice, a Little Canada, Minn.-based membership charter company, voluntarily filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy (liquidation) last month. The filing lists assets of $5.4 million, $4 million owed to creditors holding secured claims, $465,695 owed to creditors holding unsecured priority claims and $21.3 million owed to unsecured creditors.
JetDirect Aviation has now placed two of its subsidiary companies into bankruptcy. The first was Regal Jets of Dallas, placed into Chapter 11 bankruptcy on February 25. On Friday, JetDirect placed Novato, Calif. charter operator Sunset Aviation Inc. into Chapter 7 liquidation. JetDirect Aviation had furloughed all Sunset Aviation Inc.
In a letter sent to employees on Tuesday, Eclipse Aviation general manager Michael McConnell and CFO Mark Borseth wrote that “our company is out of time and money” and that the company’s senior secured creditors filed a motion in bankruptcy court for Chapter 7 liquidation. The plan by Eclipse’s largest shareholder, Etirc Aviation, to buy the company’s assets and eventually restart production of the Eclipse 500 VLJ has failed, they said.
Englewood, Colo.-based would-be very light jet manufacturer Aviation Technology Group recently filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy to liquidate its assets. The company, which had been developing the two-seat Javelin and a military trainer version of the twinjet, suspended development of the VLJ program in late December since it wasn’t able to secure the needed additional funding.
VisionAire, now operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy, is focusing its efforts on obtaining additional funding. “We’re continuing discussion with several different sources,” said a spokesman, “two of which are European investment syndications.” In August, VisionAire was forced into Chapter 7 involuntary liquidation by a group of five creditors, including two former members of its board of directors.
Creditors expect to start reviewing a status report due on November 2 from a court-appointed insolvency administrator for Fairchild Dornier’s 728 program division, just as the most recent target date for first flight of the 70-seat regional jet once again passes uneventfully. Scheduled for this year’s fourth quarter, the 728’s first flight now couldn’t happen until late next year–if ever.