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.
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.
On October 23, Sentient Flight Group purchased Hawker Beechcraft’s charter/management business. The announcement came one day after Sentient said it had agreed to buy TAG Aviation USA’s management business. The deal adds 22 employees, contracts for aircraft and another charter certificate to the Sentient stable. When the TAG Aviation USA deal goes through before year-end, Sentient could add as many as another 79 aircraft.
AMI Jet Charter’s trouble with the FAA didn’t start on October 12, when the agency revoked AMI’s charter certificate, nor the week before, when it suspended AMI’s certificate, nor in March when the FAA began an investigation of AMI or even in September 2005, when the Department of Transportation fined AMI $250,000 for violation of foreign-ownership regulations.
Sentient Flight Group announced yesterday that it has agreed “in principle” to buy TAG Aviation USA’s aircraft management business from Switzerland-based TAG Aviation Holding. The deal does not seem to include TAG Aviation USA’s charter affiliate, AMI Jet Charter, which recently had its charter certificate revoked. TAG Aviation USA owns 49 percent of AMI; the rest of the company is owned by AMI executives.
AMI Jet Charter had problems with the U.S. Department of Transportation previously and was assessed a $250,000 fine per a consent order issued by the DOT in September 2005 that addressed the issue of influence by foreign owners of the company. DOT regulations require that air carriers be controlled by U.S. citizens, including U.S. citizen corporations. Although 51 percent of AMI is owned by two U.S.