TapJets claims to be an Uber of private jets; however, three airplanes in companies related to its CEO Eugene Kesselman are part of a bankruptcy filing.
Three companies that own three private jets and are associated with the CEO of Texas-based digital charter broker TapJets are involved in bankruptcy filings here in Florida.
According to the South Florida Business Journal, Tantive GIV LLCC filed for Chapter 11 protection on Aug. 24 in Miami.
TapJets (the charter brokerage) has an impeccable balance sheet and is not related in any way to the bankruptcy filings. We book over 20,000 flights a month. We are absolutely not affected by three of our 17 airplanes not being available.Eugene Kesselman, CEO of TapJets
Profundity LLC and Naboo Royal Cruiser LLC also filed on Aug. 23.
TapJets claims to be an Uber of private jets with bookable, guaranteed dynamic pricing.
In 2017, its CEO Eugene Kesselman told the Houston Chronicle, “Instead of doing it the old-fashioned way, you have the access of all the charter planes inventory available on the app.”
TapJets offers guaranteed dynamic pricing you can book instantly. One-way and multi-leg flights are subject to a 100% cancelation fee after booking.
The bankrupt companies own a trio of 1990s vintage Gulfstream jets that were available for charter.
Kesselman, who is CEO of TapJets, is listed as CEO of the managing member of the three companies.
TapJets, the brokerage, did not file for bankruptcy but is listed as a creditor.
Kesselman tells Private Jet Card Comparisons, “TapJets (the charter brokerage) has an impeccable balance sheet and is not related in any way to the bankruptcy filings. We book over 20,000 flights a month. We are absolutely not affected by three of our 17 airplanes not being available. If the operator is not performing, those airplanes should not be in the air. We will not allow airplanes in the air we don’t think are properly maintained,”
About the companies that own the airplanes, he added, “We didn’t file for Chapter 7. We filed for Chapter 11 to put them in the hands of an operator that will maintain the standards and higher-level demand.”
SFBJ reports that Colorado-based Prime Jet Charter, LLC, had been managing the jets but seized them over disputed billings.
A lawyer representing the bankrupt companies said the jets were not seized but are in possession of the management company as the jet owners seek to find a new management company.
Profundity LLC owns a 1993 Gulfstream IVSP, tail number N144PK.
Creditors are listed as Prime Jet ($805,803), Vision Depot, Ltd., of Miami ($167,680), and Starship 1 LLC, of Lewes, Delaware ($40,022).
TapJets, Inc. of Texas is listed as being owed $568,222, according to the filing.
Tantive’s filing shows a disputed lien from Prime Jet for $242,379.
There are also unpaid services of $231,816 due to Wisetouch Interiors of Opa Locka and $44,579 to Techno Coatings of Miami.
TapJets Holdings, Inc. of Miami is owed over $1.35 million.
TapJets, Inc. of Texas is owed $16,217 per the filing
The filing for Naboo Royal Cruiser was not readily available.
In 2018, the Federal Aviation Administration issued an Emergency Order of Revocation against TapJets for allegedly conducting passenger-carrying flights using unqualified pilots and operating unauthorized aircraft.
The FAA alleged that between Sept. 28, 2016, and Jan. 22, 2017, TapJets operated 10 passenger-carrying flights with pilots who were unqualified. On one of those flights, the airman who served as second-in-command only had a student pilot certificate. A commercial pilot certificate was required, according to the complaint.
TapJets denied the charges.
At the time TapJets defended itself, saying the flights were for non-paying family and friends being flown to test software.
“[T]hey concern a part of our operating model that no longer even exists, and in no way affects or impacts any of the past, present or future flights that customers book on TapJets’ platform,” according to a statement.
According to Kesselman, the dispute was settled with no admission of wrongdoing.
In 2019, TapJets Holdings, Inc., of Texas, filed to raise up to $6 million. It has raised $1.52 million as of the filing.
Kesselman said that the entity is a separate company not related to the TapJets brokerage.
In 2021 after a subscriber received a solicitation to join a TapJets jet card, we reached out to obtain details.
At the time, Kesselman told us, “Our offer was intended for people who had TapJets app accounts as appreciation and a way for them to lock the rate.”
He continued, “We are not a long-term jet card player, have very little interest in the jet card model, and most importantly, believe that on-demand platforms such as TapJets are always more cost-effective and better options than jet cards.”
He concluded, “We allow people to hedge because we have sufficient inventory to support our limited-time offer.”
Prime Jet Charter did not respond to a request for comments.