Zetta Jet is focused on long-haul private jet charter and jet card programs for the global traveler
Zetta Jet USA, Inc., previously known as FKA Advanced Air Management, has filed a voluntary petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Private Jet Card Comparisons has learned from reviewing court filings. The filing was made with the Central District of California – Los Angeles. Singapore-based Zetta Jet had been growing quickly and its website lists 11 tail numbers currently part of its fleet. In June, its Managing Director Geoffrey Cassidy told Corporate Jet Investor, the company expected to take delivery of four Global 6000s this year, along with three Challenger 650s by the end of the year. In the filing, Zetta Jet PTE Ltd. is listed as controlling 100% of equity security in Zetta Jet USA, Inc. which could also raise issues about foreign control.
A profile published in May by AINOnline, prior to EBACE in Geneva noted, “Since launching in August 2015, Singapore-based Zetta Jet has quickly established itself as one of the fastest growing charter flight providers in the Asia Pacific region. Through its satellite base in Los Angeles, the privately owned operator also has extended its reach into the North American market.”
Its long-haul aircraft and efforts to build a global network positioned it alongside VistaJet, NetJets, Jet Aviation and a small group of companies seeking to serve the global traveler segment of the private jet charter market, both on-demand and with various pre-paid programs and jet card products.
According to the same AINOnline report, “The most recent expansion came in late December when Zetta Jet agreed to merge with fellow Singapore private aviation company Asia Aviation Company, along with U.S. aircraft management specialist Advanced Air Management. The acquisitions will expand Zetta Jet’s international reach, as well as service offerings.” It also claimed to be the only Part 135 charter operator approved by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to fly in the polar regions, enabling shorter flights and fewer fuel stops.
One private aviation senior executive tells us, “The entire model is unstainable…You can’t run those planes at those prices and hope to cover the enormous debt service.” He said it highlights the need for private jet users to do serious due diligence before buying into private jet membership and jet card programs that require upfront payments. Some programs provide escrow, others don’t.
In the filing, Zetta Jet says it doesn’t have any property that “needs immediate attention.” It estimates the number of creditors between 200 and 999, assets between $50 million to $100 million and the same range of liabilities. The filing was made on September 15, 2017. Zetta is being represented by Levene, Neale, Bender, Yoo & Brill, LLP.
The largest creditors listed in the filing include Bombardier ($15.1 million), Rolls-Royce Deutschland ($4.1 million), World Fuel Services, Pte Ltd Singapore ($4.0 million), Universal Fuels, Inc. Houston, ($2.7 million), CAE SimuFlite Dallas ($2.2 million), Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corp Singapore ($2.0 million), Scout Aviation II, LLC Guernsey ($1.3 million), and Universal Weather & Aviation, Inc. Houston ($1.1 million). The claim from Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corp. was listed as credit card services.
The filing states, “Effective immediately, Chief Executive Michael A. Maher shall be given the authority to seek out and engage legal counsel for bankruptcy in Singapore and/ or the USA.” It could not be determined if there were any additional filings by any other Zetta Jet related entities and the company did not respond to requests for comment from Private Jet Card Comparisons.
A 58-page long list of all creditors includes numerous FBOs and airports around the world, caterers, Acukwik, a directory of FBOs used by pilots, to the Florida Department of Revenue and the Hawaii State Tax Collector. It is not know how the filing will impact operations. All of the aircraft listed on the Zetta Jet website seems to have an N (U.S.) tail number. Possible challenges in continuing operations include that companies will be willing to provide services to Zetta, and the ability of the company to pay for services such as fuel, catering, pilot training, and maintenance on a cash basis.
As part of its 65-point comparisons of private jet card programs, Private Jet Card Comparisons compares the availability of escrow programs. Zetta Jet is not included in the over 100 programs covered as the company repeatedly declined to provide information about its services.
The full filing is available below: