On May 19, 2023, Greensboro, North Carolina-based fractional aircraft program operator Jet It ceased all operations of its Honda Jet aircraft. The HondaJet is a light-jet aircraft seating up to six passengers and features a unique design where its engines (developed jointly by Honda and GE) are mounted—not on the fuselage—but on pylons mounted on top of and extending upwards from its wings. Jet It operated approximately 20 HondaJets for fractional owners. Each Jet It customer owned a minimum 10% undivided interest in a particular HondaJet aircraft, which enabled access to the entire Jet It fleet for up to a limited number of annual flight hours. The initial shutdown was blamed on a rash of runway overrun accidents involving the Honda Jet over the preceding several years, including two accidents involving Jet It, and another more recent runway excursion in which the accident aircraft caught on fire. HondaJet disputes this contention. The shutdown follows a late-2022 dispute in which Honda Jet and Jet It were involved in litigation involving breach-of-contract (the matter was later settled).
On May 24, 2023, Jet It Founder and CEO Glenn Gonzales participated in a series of teleconferences with Jet It owners and announced that, rather than just shutting down temporarily to address the safety issue, Jet It would shut down permanently. As of the writing of this article, Jet It has not filed for bankruptcy or other similar protection from its creditors.
Several Jet It aircraft are currently at maintenance facilities, with several aircraft being understood to have outstanding maintenance bills against them. Jet It is understood to be behind on rent at its hangar in Greensboro. Hourly airframe and engine maintenance programs have been terminated for non-payment.
Jet It owners are now facing the facts that their aircraft are (1) not flyable, (2) subject to outstanding maintenance bills, (3) engine and airframe maintenance plans have terminated due to non-payment of invoices, and (4) they no longer have access to lift. Jet It owners should immediately engage with knowledgeable aviation attorneys and brokers to allow them and their fellow co-owners to coordinate their efforts to facilitate restoration of their aircraft and effect the sale of their aircraft to other co-owner(s) and/or unrelated third parties.
The information in this article is intended to highlight potential issues with aircraft ownership and operations and is therefore general in nature. Please feel free to contact one of our experienced aviation attorneys directly to discuss your specific business/personal needs.