A Piaggio owner alleges AeroVanti failed to make $1.35 million in lease payments and transferred engines from its P.180 to another aircraft.
AeroVanti is being hit with yet another lawsuit, its fifth since May, and at the same time, its website now has a message, “This account has been suspended.”
The latest lawsuit, first reported by the Tampa Business Journal yesterday, is from the owner of an aircraft leased to the Sarasota, Florida, and Annapolis, Maryland-based private flight membership club.
Winslow Avanti, LLC, says it owns N1037W, a Piaggio P. 180.
The aircraft was leased to AeroVanti in January 2022, and the lawsuit alleges AeroVanti owes at least $1.35 million in delinquent lease payments.
Winslow also accused the troubled flight provider of removing the engines from its airplane and transferring them to another aircraft.
“Defendant AeroVanti has shown its recklessness in operating its business and aircraft by violating the lease, cutting costs, partying the subject aircraft to use on other aircraft,” the lawsuit alleges.
AeroVanti is currently faced with at least four lawsuits from customers alleging fraud.
In three cases, defendants allege they had provided AeroVanti millions of dollars to acquire aircraft and bring them to Part 135 charter standards.
They say the money was diverted, aircraft were repossessed, and believe their funds were wrongfully used for high-profile sports sponsorships, including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Chicago Cubs, and US Sailing.
An investigation by Private Jet Card Comparisons revealed that AeroVanti’s announcement of scoring a $100 million investment led by Lafayette Aircraft Leasing last year was likely untrue.
The flight provider was merely a customer leasing a single Phenom 100 light jet that the lessor eventually took back.
People with knowledge of the relationship said while Lafayette principals discussed additional leases with AeroVanti, there was never any plan for investment into the company.
Last October, AeroVanti issued a press release stating, “The $100 million investment led by Lafayette Aircraft Leasing will fund a significant fleet expansion and allow the company to rapidly scale to meet customer demand. The first plane of this fleet expansion – an Embraer Phenom 100 – recently arrived at the company’s headquarters in Sarasota, Florida.”
More recently, Founder and Chairman Patrick Britton-Harr denied to another media our report that AeroVanti missed payroll last month as “totally false.”
However, denials are contradicted in an email sent to AeroVanti employees on June 6 with the subject line “Paychecks,” in which he is copied.
In it, Vice President, Operations Joey Giordano, wrote, “The company is not closing or going out of business, but due to repercussions of recent events, is awaiting some capital in order to get back on track and continue on a path of success. The capital is expected to come in two weeks or so.”
He continued, “[W]e understand that you have other obligations that need immediate attention financially, and you must do what is right for you and your family. There are no hard feelings if you decide that AeroVanti isn’t the right path for you. For those that stay, there could be very green valley’s ahead to enjoy! You may also decide that you will not work until you get a paycheck. We understand. You may decide to simply work from home until you get a paycheck.”
Meanwhile, AeroVanti’s website has been offline since at least yesterday.
Read the lawsuit – Winslow Avnati, LLC. v. AeroVanti Aircraft, LLC. below: