Disbursement of proceeds from the auction of 13 Piaggio P.180 Avanti twin turboprops sold under the bankruptcy of shuttered fractional provider Avantair began on February 20, a milestone in the company’s dissolution. St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Avantair was put into involuntary bankruptcy in August 2013, and the auctions, conducted under Section 363 estate property sales, started in July.
Distribution of the proceeds was blocked by a lawsuit brought by one Avantair shareowner, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), which challenged the distribution plan. On January 29, the bankruptcy trustee granted a motion to allow distribution of the proceeds, while CCA’s lawsuit heads to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. CCA has not yet responded to AIN’s inquiries.
According to Amanda Applegate of Aerlex, a Santa Monica, Calif. law firm representing about half of the 660 Avantair share owners, none of the auctioned aircraft has been through the FAA-approved recertification process to restore its airworthiness certificate. The FAA revoked the airworthiness certificates of all former Avantair fleet aircraft in the wake of questions about their condition and maintenance records.
Average price of the auctioned aircraft was $810,000 each, a figure further reduced by payments to lienholders, including companies that provided maintenance services that Avantair failed to pay.