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Sat, Aug 12, 2023

Private Jet Services Awarded $29-Million Judgment

Florida Court Finds Against IAero Airways

Private Jet Services Group was awarded a $29-million judgment against iAero Airways (formerly known as Swift Air). The judgment is thought to pertain to a partnership agreement dating to June 2020.

Handed down by the Circuit Court of the 11th Judicial Circuit in and for Florida’s Miami-Dade County, the ruling derives of an arbitration judgment issued on 13 February 2023. 

The Florida Court’s filing sets forth the award’s total amount equaled $28,504,084.82, with interest to accrue at nine-percent per-annum or at a per-diem rate of $7,028.40 following a ninety-day grace period. 

The filing further states iAero “did not move to vacate, modify, or correct the award.” 

Seeking confirmation of the award, PJS Group, a private aviation consultancy providing mission-critical flight services to a global clientele and a subsidiary of Elevate Aviation, filed the petition in subject action on 26 April 2023.

iAero was served, on 28 April 2023, with a petition and summons germane to the proceeding, and did not file a responsive pleading under the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. 

PJS subsequently filed two notices of appearance for its attorneys on 23 May 2023. 

On 19 June 2023, PJS filed the motion seeking confirmation of the award under the Federal Arbitration Act, the Florida Arbitration Code, and a judicial default under Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.500(b), and entry of judgment on the principal amount of the award, post-award interest.

Upon the signing of his company’s partnership with PJS, iAero Group CEO Robert Caputo stated: “Our partnership with PJS further establishes our mutual capabilities, vision, and growth well into the future.” 

In 2020, PJS Group CEO Greg Raiff added: “After 18 years of working with various airlines for group charters, PJS has always been impressed with and confident in iAero’s capabilities. When you pair their fleet and capabilities with the PJS customer service and logistics experience, you have created the best offering in the industry.” 

PJS’s clientele comprises primarily corporations, professional and collegiate sports teams, live-entertainment tours, and government officials—entities and persons cognizant of the benefits and value of private flight. The company offers customized jet cards. 

The partnership presupposed PJS would act as a sales agent for iAero Airways, the charter fleet of which boasted, at the time, some 35 Boeing 737 narrow-body airliners.

The PJS website described the partnership as: “an increased opportunity to align resources to enhance growth.” 

Charter market stakeholders posit the award could represent as much as $300-million in contested sales. 

iAero’s website contends the company received backing from the Blackstone Group to acquire engine MRO (Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul) concern AeroThrust Holdings and airframe MRO concern Miami Tech Aircraft Maintenance.

In 2019, iAero acquired Swift Air, rebranding its holdings to iAero Thrust, iAero Tech, and iAero Airways respectively.

FMI: www.pjsgroup.com

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