JetAmerica is Gone . . . For Now

I have to admit that I wasn’t even sure if it was worth covering the demise of JetAmerica since I had no real insight to add, but I’ve had so much fun with it so far, I figured, well, what the heck. JetAmerica’s route map was so goofy that most of the people in the US couldn’t care less, JetAmerica Diesbut for the few who did care, you’ll be sad to know that JetAmerica is officially toast . . . for now.

Once again, it came down to slots. JetAmerica couldn’t get any at Newark, and there were rumors that the FAA was about to drop the hammer on the airline. See, you’re not supposed to sell tickets if you don’t actually have slots. Oops. So maybe JetAmerica finally saw the writing on the wall and decided to call it quits or maybe the FAA made the decision for them. Either way, in what should be a surprise to nobody, they’re not even going to get started.

If you had booked tickets on the airline, you’ll get your money back. If you’re an airport and you gave them funds already, well, good luck. I hope nobody spent too much on these guys.

So is this the last we’ve heard of them? They seem to think otherwise. This statement appears on the JetAmerica website:

. . . we have decided to suspend our operations in order to refocus on different markets. We still strongly believe that there is an unmet need for affordable air service to secondary markets and we look forward to offering this option again in the near future.

Oh please no. Just let it die. I can’t imagine any airport wanting to work with them again. Maybe they’ll pop up in some other form some day, but I think they’ve spent all their goodwill by now. If different markets were they answer, they should have started that way. They’ve now had 3 strikes (Air Azul failed to start, one month delay in JetAmerica service, and now the ultimate demise), and as far as I’m concerned, they’re out.

In a way, I feel bad for founder John Weikle. He seems like a complete and total optimist who wants to bring service to small communities. It’s an admirable goal, but so far I’ve yet to see a model come even close to working that can serve that purpose. John has done a remarkable job of finding investors for his ventures, but I just can’t imagine that he’ll be so lucky again.

Nothing to see here. Keep moving.

[Original image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/27466406@N00/ / CC BY-SA 2.0]

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29 Comments on "JetAmerica is Gone . . . For Now"

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David SF eastbay
Member
At least they changed their website. Even after they sent out their press release and it was reported by AP and USA Today, their website didn’t say a thing about it. You would have thought the second they made their annoucement, the next second would have been the website change. Seems they couldn’t do that right either. It may be hard for them to try again, but now it makes it harder for other new airlines that may wish to start service somewhere. People will remember what JetAmerica did (or didn’t do) and make it harder for others who may… Read more »
Oliver
Guest

I knew it. I hope that Mr. Weikle takes these developments to get a clue and move on. Startup airlines won’t work right now in this economy.

Nimitz
Guest

The really sad part is that the plan was so bad to begin with, and the execution so laughable, that there’s not even anything to learn from this. It certainly hurts Weikle’s chances of going again, and probably won’t be of much help to others who are trying to raise money for similar ventures, but all in all this elicits just a bewildered shrug. Cranky says it well – nothing at all to see here.

david
Member

Heh. I am kind of surprised you are so calm after JetAmerica saying,

“People should not be so quick to jump to negative conclusions about JetAmerica. I am particularly referring to internet bloggers and naysayers who are predicting the worst.”

…which I feel is pretty well directed at you and Jaunted. Not that I am trying to cause drama :)

Yo
Guest

I’m still waiting for Crystal Air and Air Portland/The Coast to start. And the airlines that Beauvais was trying to start, one in Pittsburgh and one in Utica/Syracuse.

Oh, and Jambayla Airlines, because, evidently, New Orleans is a great place to start a hub.

Don’t EVEN get me started on Family Airlines and their 747 service, just cost you $5000 to work there…

I swear, the airline business is like Amway sometimes.

Joe
Guest

Toledo spent $119,000 trying to promote the flights to Newark that these bozo’s were planning on operating. You can click on my name to learn more.

How the hell do you try to start an airline without making sure that you can actually fly to the airport that you want the majority of your flights to go to?

oldiesfan6479
Guest
If you want a big laugh, check Ben’s blog in McPaper which has some juicy quotes from (the Melbourne) Florida Today: http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/item.aspx?type=blog&ak=68494894.blog It seems Jet-no-more-ica may still be planning a comeback, with MLB as its new focus city. Isn’t that near Cocoa Beach? At least it will be convenient for those visiting Jeannie and Major Nelson, although I imagine some future stranded fliers may exclaim “blink me out of here, Jeannie!” But wait, there’s more! Company chairman Steve Schoen (what happened to Weikle?) mentioned Newark would be replaced by another tri-state airport, such as White Plains. ROFLMAO…White Plains?! They had… Read more »
Yo
Guest

Gumbo, jambalaya, its all the same..Air Muffalafeta!

The Utica/Syracuse got reanamed Northern Airlines after many changes, but it, of course never went anywhere.

Remember Great Plains and Access Air? What great ideas, same same for JetTrain and RootsAir.

Events
Guest

it’s a shame that they didn’t execute well, especially as there constantly seems to be fewer choices when it comes flying. Hopefully, new upstart airlines will avoid the same mistakes.

Nate
Guest

And of course Western Pacific, Rio Grande Air, and Western Air (short lived, flew the “river run” across Nebraska using Pilatus PC-12’s).

Shuttle America (original) seemed like a great idea using Dash 8-300s up and down the East Coast… would have been great if Republic had kept them around (the Dash 8s)

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[…] tend to agree with the Cranky Flier. “Nothing to see here. Keep moving.” To the airports who paid for […]

Chuck
Guest
Also for weird startup ideas don’t forget Primaris Airlines, which made a big 787 order they had to cancel a few months later when they didn’t have money for deposits. They did fly a 757 around for a while I think. Also there was some airline called Blackstar Airlines which has had a website up for ages…but I don’t know much about them. Other failed small carriers…National Airlines (the Las Vegas based one) and Pro Air, which was shut down by the FAA. Man…once you start thinking about it it’s easy to go on and on with airlines that have… Read more »
Nick Barnard
Member

Heh.. I think the Boyd group got it the best “the whole JetAmerica deal had enough red flags to decorate the Kremlin on May Day” (from http://www.aviationplanning.com/asrc1.htm)

Oliver
Guest

I thought Primaris Airlines had some promise. It seemed to be a wonderful idea to have an all business class airline with high class service, much like the P.S. service of United. Oh well…it’s a tough world out there.

Eric
Guest

Oh the Primaris model was a home run! Business class service to a low yeild, price sensative market like LAS. Epic geniuses i tell ya lol.

Now while we have all been watching the JetNowheremerica clown show, a public charter is getting its ducks in a row down in MSY. They are going to operate 2-3x a week charters to central america from NOLA and on a very limited basis from FLL.

http://www.uflycityskies.com/cityskies/

Chuck
Guest

Blackstar still hasn’t started flying yet…it’s an proposed airline along the lines of Crystal Airways, I believe. (We all know how well that turned out.) Time will tell.

I worked for National and I feel they had a fairly good product, but the whole business model they used was based on cheap oil. Also, I think the planes they got (757’s) were too big for the routes they flew…although they did have very nice takeoff performance when it was summertime in LAS.

Yo
Guest
National had a good product, but bad management. They spent like drunken sailors when they started up. They had so much capital for startup, but damn, they blew money like it was going out of style. Lots of perks for the Sr. Management. Problem was, they never had enough markets out of LAS to make any money. New York, Chicago and Miami are great, but LAX, SFO were too close, too many competitors, etc. West Pac, had the Beauvais family, nuff’ said. I’m sure they all made out nicely money wise. But, who the hell would hub an airline at… Read more »
Tony
Guest
I’m trying to understand this Air America situation, but I’m not nearly as in tune as you all are. I’m hoping that you can help with any of these questions below based on these quotes. I have a few questions at the end. I hope you can answer any of them. On July 2, JetAmerica’s Vice President of Operations Brian Burling said: “In February 2009, the Federal Aviation Administration advised us, through an intermediary, that our operations at Newark could be accommodated.” The FAA’s change in the slot policy for indirect air carriers is beyond our control. We are working… Read more »
Tony
Guest

I really appreciate the thorough response.

catherine
Guest

Damn. I knew it was too good to be true. I live in Melbourne, FL (one of the few airports they were going to use) and go to school in New York, so this airline was going to be perfect for me especially with those “$9 seats”. Once again, if it looks too good to be true…it probably is.

Steve
Guest

Has everybody gotten paid by JA? How did they work this thing with the credit cards?

BDY
Guest
Steve – CF We were one of those that purchased tickets for a family vacation. Can’t afford 4 airline tickets normally. $9 tickets ($25 after fees) would have been great. To answer the question if all passengers have been reimbursed. We received an e-mail saying that all reimbursements were done and if we haven’t gotten it to contact our credit card co. Well we haven’t gotten it. So we are in contact with them. They are filing a dispute so hopefully we will get our money back soon. We have learned and won’t do this type of thing again!
D
Guest

@ Chuck:

pro air should have never been shut down… i used to work for them..read this

http://home.comcast.net/~skydrifter/proair.htm

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[…] is this actually the reincarnation of Jet America under another name? I suppose we’ll find out if we see any flight going to Toledo or […]

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