JetSuite files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy with up to $100 million in liabilities

By Doug Gollan, April 29, 2020

Since grounding its fleet earlier this month, the company had not communicated with SuiteKey jet card customers except to advise them of the shutdown

The company says it hopes to resume operations without disclosing specifics

JetSuite, dba as Superior Air Charter, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Delaware today. The move came two weeks after it suspended operations and furloughed most of its employees.

After any administrative expenses are paid, no funds will be available for distribution to unsecured creditors

JetSuite Chapter 11 filing

The bankruptcy filing for the Part 135 charter operator side of its business comes despite financial backing from JetBlue and Qatar Airways. JSX, which uses reconfigured regional jets with scheduled flights between private terminals, has continued to operate a slimmed-down schedule.

The filing provided an ominous view for SuiteKey members, ticking a box that states, “After any administrative expenses are paid, no funds will be available for distribution to unsecured creditors.”

In an e-mail message, Chief Restructuring Officer Ted Gavin, CTP of Gavin/Solmonese LLC said, “JetSuite has always done its best to honor its commitments to customers throughout its exemplary history, and JetSuite leadership has spent and will continue to spend enormous time and effort pursuing strategic and financial alternatives to restart operations.”

The email continued, “Unfortunately, the global circumstances brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic have caused JetSuite’s revenues to drop to near zero, and the carnage across the economy and in the aviation industry, in particular, is well reported and has no clear end in sight, so we have made the regrettable but necessary decision to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.”

An email sent to SuiteKey members told them, “The purpose of the bankruptcy is to protect the company’s assets for the benefit of its creditors, and to provide an orderly transition to the next chapter in JetSuite’s story.”

Both messages said JetSuite had operated over 111,000 flights since 2009 and is seeking bankruptcy protection to reorganize, preserve and maximize the value of its assets, and potentially resume operations.

NetFlix tops JetSuite creditors

The filing stated there are between 200 and 999 creditors. It estimated assets of between $1 million and $10 million with liabilities of $50 million to $100 million.

Among the largest Suite Key customers and their unused funds are Netflix at $931,098; Mary Lee Lewis ($437,794); Doug Rhymes ($430,451); John Traub ($375,374); Joseph C. Nettemeyer ($358,064), John Danahy ($349,017); Joel Sugg ($332,060); SQN Investors ($330,882), and Richard Thalheimer ($327,577).

Jet Support Services, Inc. at $657,597, and Textron Aviation at $259,942 were also listed as claimants.

Private Jet Card Comparisons previously estimated over $50 million in jet card deposits are at stake. The JetSuite program was non-refundable and did not offer an escrow account. Program deposits ranged from $100,000 to $500,000.

The company had been operating a fleet of Embraer Phenom 300s and 100s.

While its CEO Alex Wilcox had not replied to requests for comment, he apparently responded to at least one member. In an email sent April 23, he told the SuiteKey customer, “I’ve labored day and night to keep the company afloat and found incredible resources to fulfill our commitments to customers, well beyond what anyone would think is reasonable or expected and the story is not over.”

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