Charter operator Georgia Jet pauses due to pilot shortage

Georgia Jet, a popular light jet operator, is putting its charter operations on hiatus, as it struggles with the pilot shortage.

By Doug Gollan, February 13, 2024

The shortage of pilots is taking its toll on Georgia Jet.

The Lawrenceville, Georgia-based operator has said that it is halting its charter operations effective tomorrow.

Earlier today, it sent an email to brokers:

The purpose of this letter is to notify you that Georgia Jet will be unavailable for charter operations beginning on February 14, 2024, until further notice.

As such, we will no longer be able to operate the following scheduled missions:

We apologize for this inconvenience, but we hope that we served your clients with the utmost class, operational excellence, professionalism, and exemplary customer service thru the years.

Thank you for allowing us to be of service to you as a supplementary Charter Operator.

According to the latest FAA data, it has five Hawker 400XP light jets on its charter certificate.

CEO Lea Williams, who bought Georgia Jet in 2012, tells Private Jet Card Comparisons the firm has minimal funds on account from operators and retail clients.

He said he anticipates being able to refund any money taken for future flights.

Georgia Jet does not plan to surrender its charter certificate, either.

Williams says a sister company, a Part 145 repair station, continues as usual.

At its peak, Georgia Jet had 17 aircraft and more than 30 pilots, including an air ambulance business.

Williams says the “pause” is due to not being able to hire pilots.

READ: Why private aviation’s supply chain and labor crisis isn’t going away

He says pilots have been leaving for opportunities to fly larger jets with bigger paychecks and to the Part 121 airlines.

NJASAP, the union representing NetJets pilots, has cited attrition to mainline airlines such as Delta, United, American, and Southwest as leverage in seeking a mid-contract raise.

NJASAP and NetJets reached an agreement in principle on Friday.

READ: How’s business for private jet operators in 2023? The answers vary

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