On Friday, Sentient Jet Holdings completed its acquisition of Van Nuys, Calif.-based charter/management firm The Air Group. The purchase of the Southern California business occurred before Sentient finalized its acquisition of TAG Aviation USA, which is said to be imminent.
Techniques d'Avant Garde
TAG Aviation’s all-new business aviation facilities at the UK’s Farnborough Airport were due to go into operation at the end of last month. At press time, the company was about to receive the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) airport license that will allow it formally to take control of the airfield from the Ministry of Defence under a 99-year lease.
Sentient Jet, which is buying TAG Aviation USA and all of its assets from TAG Holding, was expecting to close the acquisition around the end of last month. The Sentient purchase is for what is left of AMI Jet Charter after its charter certificate was revoked, and Sentient has offered AMI customers/aircraft owners the opportunity to move their aircraft onto one of Sentient’s charter certificates, which most have done.
Mercury Air Centers and TAG Aviation disclosed a joint initiative to provide travel services through Mercury’s FBO network. The partnership will provide Mercury customers with a variety of ancillary services, including charter and management through TAG Aviation in the U.S. Mercury has 20 FBO locations throughout the country and TAG operates and manages more than 90 aircraft available for charter.
Mansour Ojjeh and his brother Aziz are principals of Luxembourg-based TAG Group Holdings, which they inherited from their father, Akram Ojjeh, upon his death in 1991. Mansour is president and Aziz is vice president. Both are Swiss citizens, were educated in the U.S. and are now in their fifties. TAG is the acronym of Techniques d’Avant Garde.
Jim Christiansen, 54, is leaving charter/management/fractional ownership provider TAG Aviation USA after managing its integration with Wayfarer Aviation over the last two years. The business aviation veteran, chairman of the Fractional Ownership Aviation Rulemaking Committee (FOARC) and former president of Wayfarer, was named executive v-p and COO of TAG Aviation USA when the merger was completed in late 1999.
The FAA and TAG Aviation USA have settled “all matters” between them in an agreement that calls for TAG Aviation USA and its Swiss parent, TAG Aviation Holding, to pay $10 million to the FAA. Both parties, including FAA Eastern region counsel Loretta Alkalay and TAG Aviation Holding chairman Roger McMullin, signed the agreement on November 8.
The FAA confirmed yesterday that it is investigating the operations of Elan Express, a Part 125 certificate holder partially owned by TAG Aviation USA that operates a Boeing 767 for Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin and a 727 used for sports team charters. “The FAA has asked for additional documents from Elan related to the operations it is conducting under its [Part] 125 certificate,” an FAA spokeswoman told AIN.
When the FAA pulled the trigger on AMI Jet Charter and TAG Aviation USA last month, a silence settled over the land that was almost reminiscent of the empty skies after 9/11. Many in business aviation had been aware for months that the feds were going after AMI/TAG with a perplexing intensity, but nobody was saying anything publicly.
When Sentient Flight Group announced last week that it plans to buy TAG Aviation USA, it didn’t clarify whether this included AMI Jet Charter, 49 percent of which is owned by TAG Aviation USA. The FAA revoked AMI’s charter operating certificate on October 12.