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Airline Resorts to Crowd-Funding to Get Off the Ground

Avatar Airlines

Five thousand dollars will get you an interview with start-up Avatar Airlines, but will crowd sourcing help the low-fare airline get off the ground?

Start-up Avatar Airlines, Inc. said May 13 it started a new 30-day crowd-funding campaign to help raise $5 million for preliminary operations.

The Boca Raton, Fla., company hopes to operate “ultra-low fare” non-stop flights in high-traffic markets in the continental U.S. and Hawaii.

The airline is overseeing the campaign; would-be investors can donate anywhere from $5 to $9,750.

As a “perk,” donors who fund $5,000, $3,500 and $375 will get an interview for pilot, first officer and flight attendant positions, respectively – though Avatar is quick to point out the guarantee is for an interview only, not employment.

Avatar Airlines Route Map

According to its website, Avatar says it will exclusively use Boeing 747s-400 planes outfitted with 581 seats, which the company says is four times as many passengers as a typical 737 carries. In addition, the aircraft are projected to be able to hold 70,000 pounds of containerized freight, leased out at wholesale rates.

Avatar plans to offset low-ticket prices with aggressive advertising, plus seat upholstery, cabin walls, ceilings, over-head bins, bulkheads, tray table and aircraft exterior-wrap all up for sale to advertisers.

Avatar has applied to the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for operating authority as a commercial air carrier.

The company is currently operating without a chief executive officer and does not list any other executives on its website. Avatar was not immediately available for comment as to when they expect a DOT response, how much money it has raised so far, or expected date of operation.

[Photo: Avatar Airlines]

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3 Comments
J
jrobinson5 May 26, 2015

This has got to be the stupidest "business plan" I've ever read. No way they get off the ground.

F
fedup flyer May 21, 2015

Sounds like a scam to me. Biz plan make no sense and has the wrong airframe for the job.

R
RUAMKZ May 20, 2015

Interesting idea........but a few things about this....... (1) It's difficult enough to crowd-fund a movie, what makes them think they will get enough to fund an airline? (2) Most of the routes are already served by the scheduled carriers, and are saturated. Not one of the routes offer a product that doesn't already exist. (3) As for 747s, good idea on the transcons(east to west coasts) and Hawaii routes......in all those cases, currently too small of planes, and a more spacious plane is needed. (4) It's really pushing it to get a 747 at San Jose. Asking for problems with weight and balance issues. If anything, go to Oakland instead. In fact, forget SFO too, due to ATC issues. Just make OAK the sole Bay Area entity.