Avatar Airlines Hopes Crowdfunding Will Get It Off The Ground
Itâs a start-up airline 20 years in
the making. And it still hasnât made it. Now Avatar Airlines is hoping
crowdfunding will help it take off.
Mail reports that under its previous incarnation, Family Airlines, the
would-be carrier was barred 3 times from flying by U.S. authorities, who later
filed a fraud suit against its then CEO.
But now Avatar Airlines is back under
a new name, and it is seeking $5 million from the general public. That
amount wouldnât get it off the ground of course. But the fledgling carrier says
the cash would be used to set up
headquarters and carry it through the certification process. Avatar then hopes
to raise $300 million in private equity to own its planes and operate
The business plan is a doozy. Avatar says it will revolutionize the airline industry
as the "ultra-low fare leader," offering fares as low as $19 one way
and up to 2 checked bags for free, complimentary Wi-Fi and other perks.
The company plans to buy 30 old Boeing
747s and pack them with 539 economy and 42 business class pax to make each
flight cost effective. It says it would
initially offer nonstop flights to and from markets such as Los Angeles, Las
Vegas, New York and Miami.
To date, no money has been raised. But, Avatar has turned to
Crowdfunding as the beginning of their fundraising campaign, Steve Adams,
Avatar's Executive Vice President, announced this week. They have launched a 30 day campaign called HelpAvatarFly.com seeking donations ranging from $5 to $10,000.
Make extra profit is a great part-time job for everyone-
at 5:38 PM May 19, 2015
donations come with bonuses. For $25 you get a T-shirt and periodic updates
about Avatar's attempts to get into the air. For $2,500, you can fly a jet
plane simulator with a personal instructor. People who donate
$5,000 are guaranteed an interview for the post of captain, while $3,500 will
get you an interview for the first officer role. Not surprisingly, thereâs
no guarantee of employment.
the coup de grace, you could invest $9,750 and receive simulator time, ground
school instruction, 2 nights at a 4 star hotel in Miami, a helicopter ride as
well as cocktails and dinner with Avatar's founder.
The airline is currently awaiting
approval from the U.S. Department of Transport and the Federal Aviation
Authority for operating authority as a commercial air carrier.
Cranky Flierauthor Brett
Snyder writes that the U.S. Department of Transportation rejected Family
Airlines' request for passenger service certification in 2009 because it was
âconcerned about (Family Air's) fitness in every area: managerial competence,
finances and compliance disposition.â
He added the basic premise was
'flawed' and said selling perks like a Founders Club membership ($3,000), may
violate rules governing advertising by airlines not yet approved for passenger
service. âSounds like Avatar is walking quite the fine line here,â Snyder