Want to get in early on the efforts to finance an airline? Who wouldn’t love the opportunity to throw money at a specious business plan filled with irrational hopes and dreams? And if you contribute enough maybe they’ll even let you interview for a job!
This is the situation today with Avatar Airlines. The company is now soliciting public contributions to help seed its financing. But it seems both unlikely that the operation will ever get off the ground and there’s the part where you’re just making a donation, not actually investing in the company where you’ll hold equity or such.
Contributing $5,000 – and having proper qualifications – buys you access to interview as a Captain with a promised starting salary of $220,000 annually flying the company’s 747-400s around the USA and, eventually, the world. The company promises fares starting at $19, free wi-fi and two free checked bags for every customer. Operations will commence with two planes flying from Los Angeles to Las Vegas to New York City to Miami and return but that’s just the beginning. Within a year the company expects to see massive growth:
By the end of the first year, Avatar intends to purchase a total of 14 aircraft and add additional flights to and from Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Orlando, Dallas, New York, Miami, Chicago, Tampa, San Jose, San Diego, San Francisco, Phoenix, Philadelphia and Honolulu. By the end of the third year, Avatar expects to have a total of 30 aircraft and have applied for international authority.
Even Albuquerque makes the route map somehow by year three!
In short, all of this is batshit crazy. And so are the people who are donating to the cause. The company has been working on this for 5+ years and continues to try to find ways to raise cash. And probably piss off the DoT some more. Still, I’m intrigued by the opportunity to get a t-shirt and some buttons to give away to readers. But I’m pretty sure that’s not worth $50. Or that I’ll ever actually receive the goods.
Cranky has a fun piece on it as well.
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Guy running this was indicted and served time years ago for something unrelated, not something I’d invest in, especially when you read their model on LinkedIn 2 years ago.
Warren Buffet has always said “the only way to guarantee you’ll be a millionaire is to invest a billion dollars in an airline.”
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