JetAmerica Puts Halt To Operations




JetAmerica Puts Halt To Operations

By Antonio Percy



July 20, 2009, Clearwater, Florida – On Friday JetAmerica, the Florida-based public charter operator, announced that it was suspending sales to all markets and that it would immediately begin to notify affected customers and process refunds to all customers who have booked on the public charter flights. The company will be refunding more than $900,000 to people who were booked to fly from Aug. 14 through the end of September.


"We are reluctantly suspending our public charter operations effective today," said John Weikle, CEO, who has been with the company since April. "Finalizing the slots required to support our charter program at Newark has taken longer than expected and we have decided to suspend our operations in order to refocus on different markets. We still strongly believe that there is an unmet need for affordable air service to secondary markets and we look forward to offering this option again in the near future," concluded Weikle. All customers will receive automatic refunds within 7-14 business days.

"It is unfortunate that so many consumers' will be affected. This was unavoidable. I worked closely with the executives of JetAmerica for several months and know they did their very best to overcome the challenges that the slot situation posed. But in the end, the business plan never called for paying for more than a half million dollars for slots” said Bryan Glazer, JetAmerica's spokesmen.

Back on July 2nd, JetAmerica announced a self-imposed 31 day delay of the launch of its first flights, which were originally scheduled for July 13, 2009 but were then slated to take-off on August 14, 2009. 

JetAmerica was to be the nation’s newest low fare indirect air carrier service that offers non-stop seats starting at $9 each way.  The reason given at that time for the delay was due to unforeseen complications with landing and take-off time slots at Newark Liberty International Airport, New Jersey. 

Vice President of Operations Brian Burling reported back in February 2009, that the Federal Aviation Administration had advised JetAmerica through an intermediary, that their operations at Newark could be accommodated. 

“However, at about the same time JetAmerica started making national news with its $9 non-stop fares; when JetAmerica announced 60,000 website visitors; and sales in excess of 20,000 the FAA re-clarified its policy telling JetAmerica we would need to obtain slots,” according to Burling. 

JetAmerica had sent out an e-mail blast advising 6,486 passengers that booked flights from July 13 through August 13, 2009 that their credit card accounts will be fully refunded for all charges. JetAmerica had offer passengers who were originally booked on flights from July 13 through August 13 special incentives to rebook on future flights when they call their reservations center.  

JetAmerica, is a Part 380 indirect air carrier, subcontracting aircraft from Miami Air International. The company still intends to provide Boeing 737-800 big jet, roundtrip, non-stop flights from Lansing, Michigan; Melbourne-Vero Beach, Florida; South Bend, Indiana; and Toledo.  

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