Facing a DOJ indictment for fraud and lawsuits, AeroVanti Founder Patrick Britton-Harr wants a restart of dues to the grounded flight club.
The move comes after Scott Hopes was fired earlier this month as CEO.
Hopes had replaced Britton-Harr (pictured with his father) as CEO in July.
Hopes said AeroVanti had accumulated as much as $50 million in liabilities from member payments for future flights, unpaid leases, and sponsorships with sports teams that were never paid.
The flight provider had announced deals with the Chicago Cubs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, among others.
The private flight membership provider has been grounded since June.
Britton Harr lied about the status of both its fleet and missed payrolls to both Private Jet Card Comparisons and other media.
Hopes was replaced by Britton-Harr’s brother, Todd Britton-Harr, who has been convicted of mortgage fraud and drug smuggling.
Updated Nov. 18, 2023: Todd Britton-Harr has resigned from the CEO role at AeroVanti.
In an email to members this week, the founder wrote, “AeroVanti has terminated its relationship with former Manatee County Administrator Mr. Scott Hopes for cause. We wish to assure all members that management has been very active establishing a strong and sustainable membership platform.”
He continued, “That said, as part of the major changes at AeroVanti, our new advisory and executive team will be integral to the revitalization of the Air Club program and are committed to correcting the internal issues, operational issues, and shortcomings.”
The 2021 start-up is facing lawsuits from members who paid money to acquire airplanes that were never purchased, flights that were never provided, and airplane owners who allege AeroVanti never paid them.
Britton-Harr also lied in a press release about securing $100 million in funding in 2022, we exclusively reported.
“AeroVanti is extremely pleased to announce that members of AeroVanti Air Club are able to begin booking aircrafts and yachts with AeroVanti immediately, each on a first-served basis,” according to this week’s letter from Britton-Harr.
Dues are $2,500 for the primary member, with an additional primary member for $500 and a maximum of four primary members per account.
They will then have access to Piaggio turboprops and a Lear 31 for $2,750 per hour, plus fuel and crew.
Britton-Harr had been operating the program under Part 91F, which allows for cost-sharing, but had drawn the attention of the Federal Aviation Administration for illegal charter.
Programs like AeroVanti typically operate under Part 135 rules.
Members would also have access to the AeroVanti Yacht Club, per the notice.
In the email, Britton Harr states:
Membership satisfaction is the other primary focus of AeroVanti, and as such, we will be rolling out our new mobile application for online reservations and bookings in the next few weeks.
In order for a successful relaunch, all members will be able to participate, however, we will need to stagger the access for efficiency and will restart members on a first-serve basis.
The massive support and growth our club received during its development stages outpaced the operational capacities and overall needs of our members.
With tempered opinion and patience from our members, AeroVanti has a renewed shot at success.
One member tells Private Jet Card Comparisons, “Same conman back running show, now with family members in management. I’m planning on using AeroVanti membership for tax loss this year.”
Posting in an online forum, another member wrote, “Anyone else have swampland for sale?”
The most recent lawsuit, this one by Matthew Suddock, was filed Oct. 11, 2023, in Florida Middle District Court and names Aerovanti Aircraft, LLC, Aerovanti Aviation, LLC, Aerovanti Brokerage, Inc., Aerovanti Capital, LLC, Aerovanti Hangar, LLC (a Maryland limited liability company), Aerovanti Hangar, LLC (a Florida limited liability company), Aerovanti Maintenance, LLC, Aerovanti, Inc., Patrick Tormay Britton-Harr, Benjamin Ricketts, and Tombstone Holdings, LLC.