Charter firm SATSair shuts down

 - November 23, 2009, 9:06 AM

The recession appears to have claimed another victim, charter operator SATSair, which shut down operations on October 23, “due to circumstances,” according to a telephone recording on the company’s voicemail system. SATSair (Smart Air Travel Solutions) operated a fleet of Cirrus SR22 piston singles throughout the southern and eastern U.S., with headquarters in Greenville, S.C. The company opened in November 2004, offering one-way pricing, and last March reported “record revenues and outstanding financial performance,” with more than 14,000 flights logged during Fiscal Year 2008.

SATSair had announced in August 2008 plans to add Cirrus’s single-engine Vision jet to its fleet.

The writing on the virtual wall for SATSair could be seen earlier this year on a pilot Internet forum. Postings on the forum as early as June noted that the SATSair fleet, which once numbered 26 airplanes, was down to eight capable of revenue flights.  An August posting wrote that SATSair was “taking parts off the eight or nine parked aircraft to keep the five flying.”

SATSair president and CEO Steve Hanvey declined to respond to AIN’s queries.