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Set Jet Quietly Shutters Operations

Failed Transition to SPAC IPO Leaves Would-Be Private Jet Firm Penniless

Set Jet, a private jet operator hoping to carve out a niche offering by-the-seat charter flights, has quietly folded up shop and closed down after running out of investor money.

For the firm's almost 3,000-strong membership base, the news is bad all around, according to an apologetic but disappointing email. Set Jet's operations are completely closed, with no customer service lines taking calls and all employees retired with immediate effect. Those who had pre-paid for future flights or been billed for memberships? No refunds, but at least there won't be any future billing. In short, the firm simply couldn't continue spending money it no longer had, particularly after missing out on a desired bridge loan that would have provided a couple years of operational funding at 2023 scale.

Set Jet had been delaying a planned IPO-cum-merger earlier this year, hoping to extend timelines to join up with a Special Purpose Acquisition Company past a February 21st deadline. SPACs were, for a time, a popular way to sidestep the winding, tedious process of completing an Initial Public Offering.

A few high-profile successes in the 2021 bull run - and just as many embarrassments - have tarnished the SPAC tactic in the eyes of some, but Set Jet seemed to believe it would be the best way to drum up additional funding as it soldiered on through its earliest (and least profitable) years of operation. The would-be operator had somewhere near 3,000 active members in the Set Jet family, likely far from enough to turn a profit in the private jet world.

Set Jet's system relied on a Costco-like membership, where customers paid a $100/month fee to be able to book seats on its Challenger 850 flights in the southwestern USA. Its network included the LA/Orange county area, Scottsdale, Las Vegas, Aspen, and an extra southerly leg in Cabo San Lucas. If it had been able to hold out and operate for just a while longer, Set Jet had planned to further expand its purview out towards Texas and the East Coast.

FMI: www.setjet.com

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