Avantair, Still Grounded, Retains Aviation Safety Expert and Furloughs Pilots

 - October 29, 2012, 3:00 PM

Fractional provider Avantair continues to stand down operations and has retained safety expert Nick Sabatini to help complete a thorough examination of its fleet of about 60 Piaggio Avantis, including a comprehensive review of records and supporting maintenance documentation. It has also furloughed all of its pilots and operations staff. Avantair’s fleet has been “voluntarily” grounded for the past 10 days, a move that was prompted by an incident in late July where a Piaggio Avanti was operated on two flights with a missing elevator surface.

Comments

Dean's picture

I think the only way they fly again is through a structured bankruptcy. What they have done here is cut the cash drain, by laying everyone off and stop spending $....holding on to their last $ in drawer. You can be sure that owners will stop making monthly payments in droves. They might have a chance if they restructure and scale back operations...they must re-write their agreements and roll out a new business model. They can't be a national program...but instead morph into a regional program or charge accordingly. The fractional private aviation business is a tough way to make $....but the user community needs their providers to make money or this whole experiment goes up in smoke. Avantair was always a stretch to compete and appealed to those who wanted a cheaper alternative like a Netjets. This chapter is likely to get uglier sooner than later.

BH5's picture

ODB is right - and this should not be a crab session. And, there are more than pilot jobs at stake here. Hardworking people who will lose their jobs - and there are way too many of them in our country already.

bh's picture

odb is right. look at the job numbers in our industry across the country. we should be focused on saving companies not bashing them.

F. D.'s picture

Anyone ever had the pleasure of visting this gem? I have.. The last few times I have flown in there I have been very disapointed. Words can't decribe my dismay for this facility, a location and business with so much potential is simply being run into the ground. I stopped by a few days ago to see the place a ghost town. VERY SAD. It wasnt to long ago this place seemed like it had a future, seemed like ever since the FBO re-staffed the place went down hill quickly. Its rare to get any kind of attention. I thought the maintenance operations were the only thing keeping this place above water but now with that gone I dont see how they will manage. Speaking of manage... Who manages that place? Every tried to speak to the supervisor? Its not uncommon to call and speak to the line service directly because they rarely know where their boss is or when she will be back. If your one of the lucky ones who gets the pleasure to speak with her you'll leave the conversation with a sense of talking to a six year old about calculus. A year ago the staff was very attentive and lively. Recently all atempts to arrange service have ended fruitless leaving me to take my business elsewhere. A real shame. Most often the line staff is missing and phone will ring ending with a pointless voicemail. When the staff is there, they seem to be dressed VERY unprofessional and acting very careless of simple requests. When a pilot sends a request for service 48 hours ahead of departure time I should expect the plane to be fueled and ready when I arrive. That has hardly been the case. I have seen aircraft left ramped without being secured overnight and on almost any night the facilities hangar doors are usually wide open for public roaming. Sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen. The two young ladies at the front desk seem to lack basic aviation insight and common courtesy leading to very frustrating conversations. For some time now rumors have been running about the airport of an ensuing change of hands over the FBO. I really think that would be the best outcome for airport and what little aircraft that are still utilizing their services. Camarillo Airport is a very tight knit community and information travels fast. Sad to say I dont think they will ever come back from this. This FAA investigation is a direct reflection of the same management that allows this joke of a facility run itself into the ground. Best of luck to the all the hard working employees out of work , I cant seem to find the logic behind the staff at the FBO and why they werent the first to be cut, it seems managements underlying agendas and fat pockets have superseded common sense and thus the outcome is where the company stands today.

D Rodriquez 's picture

F.D. is right about Avantair Camarillo
I had the same experience similar to yours.
I met the supervisor of the FBO and what a joke she was. I couldn't get a straight answer from her. One Sunday morning I arrive to the FBO to find it a ghost town, no one to meet me on the ramp, so I parked and I had to chalk my own airplane. I go to the front desk to find no one there to rent me a car. I was so disappointed and I called myself a cab. I hope that Avantair comes out of their troubles and restructure and restaff the FBO.

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