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U.S. ultra-low-cost carrier Avatar Airlines gears up to acquire 10 Boeing 747-400

BOCA RATON — Ultra-low fare newcomer Avatar Airlines has stretched its wings across the globe and extended a letter of intent to Thai Airways to acquire 10 long-haul Boeing 747-400 aircraft. Avatar plans to operate scheduled service between major city pairs throughout the United States and Hawaii with routes including popular domestic vacation destinations and large family-oriented attractions. ( More...

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sailingeric 24
If it happenes I will will fly, just to ride in a 747
21voyageur 5
At the time of your flight, , , , ask the pilots if they have been paid recently.
Tom Bruce 8
been tried so many times.. not gonna invest my hard earned dollars
paul patten 5
They come and they go, they come and they infinitum. You're a wise investor.
Greg S 7
Don't know about the economics but I'm sure going to love seeing more 747's in the air.
21voyageur 4
I was wondering the same. Also, considering the hucksterism shown by this ()*() hole in the past, why was it even published?
21voyageur 4
just did a bit more research - let me adjust my %s. 25% chance of launching a company (has this guy spent any time in jail yet?) and 5% for launch (maybe he can find new suckers to invest). Add a new indicator: % he ends up absconding funds and ending up in another country? 60%
Jasper Buck 3
"...has this guy spent any time in jail yet...)

As I pointed out in a previous post " In June 1996 ....the SEC filed a suit against Michaels and his wife, Holly, for fraudulently offering unregistered stock for the airline. A federal judge in California ordered the couple to return $363,306 to the investors and pay $181,000 per person in civil penalties. Then the government lowered the boom on Michaels and he spent 21 months in federal prison on securities fraud and tax charges.

Andy Scontras 3
user3956 1
That link is pretty damning.
21voyageur 2
To comment on his lawyer's statements "“At what point is someone given a chance to make right? I don’t know? Is it a lifelong sentence?” Zapin said. “Should he be just shut down for the rest of his life?” Answer should be 1- never 2- as a lawyer you should know 3-Yes. 4- Yes or back to jail.

Why was this even on the site news without positioning it as a "You won't believe your ears" type story. Someone (editor) either asleep at the wheel or just unknowing/ignorant of the facts.

Dale Sears 3
Long Live The Queen
randy everett 3
Is this an old article? They had almost the same press release exactly one year ago on November 27, 2019.
jbermo 4
Anyone remember upstart "Family Airlines" of the '90s? . . . All simply History repeating itself!
Jasper Buck 24
Yes, I worked on their application for an Air Carrier Operating Certificate. In mid-1992 Barry Michaels CEO of Family came to Washington DC along with his entourage of technical staff to apply for their ACOC. They wanted tp obtain it asap. Their plan was to lease the aircraft, lease the pilots, lease out the maintenance, lease the dispatch system, etc. We said sorry it doesn't quite work that way. Here are the rules, the guidance material, etc. you may want to hire people who know what they're doing for your startup airline. He was not happy.

In March 1993 the FAA said that it would no longer process Family's application to begin service, they were wasting our time. A month later in April 1993, after the U.S. DOT reviewed lawsuits and judgments against Michaels and, based on what the DOT found, asked him to relinquish control of the proposed airline. A week later Michaels agreed to do so. Then in June 1996, about three years later, the SEC filed a suit against Michaels and his wife, Holly, for fraudulently offering unregistered stock for the airline. A federal judge in California ordered the couple to return $363,306 to the investors and pay $181,000 per person in civil penalties. Then the government lowered the boom on Michaels and he spent 21 months in federal prison on securities fraud and tax charges

Then in early 2008, Family Airlines reappeared with a new application again with Michaels as CEO. Same kind of operation was proposed. I.e. to operate up to twelve Boeing 747-400 aircraft in its first year of operation with initial service be between Los Angeles, New York, and Miami. Everything to be leased or contracted for. The FAA, DOT and SEC noted there were no significant changes from the airline's 1993 business plan, and a year later the FAA denied Family's application. .

In 2010, the airline, with Michaels at the helm, filed again, this time under the name Avatar Airlines, however the application did not proceed.

The name Michaels and Avatar rang a bell so I went back and reviewed some aviation publications and see where Michaels came back in 2019 again using the name Avatar and is proposing yet another low cost airline using old 747s. His lawyer said that he served his time, is a smart businessman and should be given another chance. Of course that was pre-Covid19. I suppose society could give Bernie Madoff another chance too. And Charles Ponzi and Jeffery Epstein too. Oops, wait, they're dead. Well, so it goes.

Family Airlines? Avatar? Old 747s? Good for a laugh but not much else.


J Buck
jbermo 4
The name Michaels and Avatar rang a bell" . . . . Yes and today, 30 years later many have forgotten (or there are those that simply were not around and thus never knew). Mr Michaels seems to have again tied his solicitation to a time when many airline personal are out of work (just as he did during the early '90s when Pan Am went bust). Barry Michaels - the name alone means that all of this is not even worth the time taken to write this post.
i5xswipe 0
If he was serious and legit, he could simply bypass the process and aquire an existing air Carrier certificate, there are plenty available presumably with the recent shutdowns.

Is Casino Express (Xtra Airways) still on the market? That was a good certificate.

Based on the history above anything but legit.
21voyageur 2
But he has no money to spend. That is why he is looking for "suckers".
Brian Johnson 4
History never repeats itself. Man always does.
Jasper Buck 3
You're right. And Myron Barry Michaels is at it again. This time with (again) Avatar. I would run, not walk, away from any sort of investment in that proposed operations. I would point out that just a few months ago the DOT, for the FIFTH time rejected Avatar's application. More can be found in this story:

On the July 2020 list of air carrier applicants it shows Avatar as an applicant. Along with Eastern Air Lines and a couple of others.

J Buck
Aviation Safety Consultant
Lance Neward 1
Question: Are you any relation to one of the greats, Bob Buck? I flew with him at TWA.
Jasper Buck 4

No, no relation. But I do have his book Weather Flying. Sits right next to my 2 Volume 1200 page American Practical Navigator by Nathaniel Bowditch. Those books (plus dozens more) are going to my Grand Daughter who loves aviation. By the time she graduates from high school I expect her to know the difference between Civil, Nautical and Astronomical twilight. Also the difference between a Mercator projection, a Lambert
conformal conic projection and a polyconic projection. >;-)


J buck
RECOR10 -1
Is that why Amazon stopped selling Mien Kampf....
Jasper Buck -1
Plenty of Mien Kampf stuff on Amazon.

Also available, in full test, on a number of websites.

WhiteKnight77 3
Would this work if done by someone other than the person who is apparently trying to start this? One needs to remember that several Asian airlines use the 747 for short haul routes that are full. Would that work in the US? Quite possibly, but not by a shady person.
These 47-400's will become freighters as well.
21voyageur 2
Way too much fluidity and not enough cash. My guess? 50% chance of actually launching a real accountable company (who will invest during these times?), 20% chance of actually lasting 1 year following first flight. Hey yes good time to purchase (and it does not sound as though they are exactly buying the planes from Thai) but, with a low-cost business model, there will not be enough bums in seats. Just another bunch of great talking financiers who are looking for money to possibly start something to later flip. Anyway, my 2 cents worth.
Let's see...
1. We have a virus that is preventing full capacity use.
2. That virus is keeping people from traveling, especially on aircraft.
3. Old, fuel in-efficient aircraft.
Seems to me they are looking at high expenses and little revenue. Maybe they are hoping for government subsidies. I'm not investing my dollars into this venture!
David Seider 2
True. What could possibly go wrong? :)
21voyageur -5
What could possibly go right? Does this con man swim in the same DNA pool as today's president of the USA?
David Seider 1
Almost didn't reply due to the political sniping...
My comment should be read with a heavy dose of sarcasm. I agree with Mr. Stansfield's
alan75035 1
Is November 27 the new April 1st?
Jesse Carroll 1
They may want to check with BA airways!
They seem to have several slightly smoky 400's sitting on a ramp.
ImperialEagle 1
This is all well and good, except that the ops/mx costs are going to be high since this aircraft was not designed for short-medium range flights. Good luck to them and those who look forward to a ride on the "queen"!
WhiteKnight77 1

"The airline currently uses its 747s on high-traffic short-haul routes within Asia, though given the limited number of aircraft in the airline’s fleet, you should double check that a 747 is in service on these flight numbers the day you’re traveling."

This by Asiana Airlines, though this data is a year old. And there is this about the 747-400D made for Japanese airlines.

With the right routes, using such would be quite profitable for the airline. The question is, would there be any routes in the US that could use such that it would be profitable?
simstick 3
With all of five minutes thinking about it I say someone could pull it off with those planes. There is a timing balance to get in the air when traffic starts picking up but not taking too long before all the talent he could use leaves the industry or the big boys start training up and not leave any breathing room to get started.
WhiteKnight77 1
As I alluded to above. As Japan is only about 1200 miles from its northernmost point to its southernmost point, Japanese airlines cannot reach a high enough crusing altitude for winglets to matter before having to descend.

A flight from LAX to JFK is roughly 2500 miles, more than enough to get to altitude. A flight from SEA to MIA is roughly 2700 miles. I could see a full one class 747 between those locations, but I doubt most people would want to fly to those cities from another just to fly in a 747 to those locations, it would cost the flyer more than they might be willing to spend. Now between any of those cities to Hawaii, might be a different story if they can save enough.
ImperialEagle 2
The aircraft discussed are not the short-range versions and could only be converted at GREAT expense. So they won't bother.
Short/medium range flights have been tried with the 74's ad nauseum and it just doesn't pan out.
From the beginning, DL,NW were using them to compete with each other ORD-MIA. It was great copy at the time, but, not a money maker.
And, if it don't make dollars it don't make cents.
Japan Airlines flew 747-146SR short-range MAX-PAX domestic flights, such as Tokyo to Osaka, a distance of 250 miles, with a passenger capacity of 509, for over a decade. It helped that the average height of a Japanese male was 5 ft. 6 inches, and 5 ft. 1 inch for women. The average height has increased steadily since then..
Responding to requests from Japanese airlines for a high-capacity aircraft to serve domestic routes between major cities, Boeing developed the 747SR as a short-range version of the 747-100 with lower fuel capacity and greater payload capability. With increased economy class seating, up to 498 passengers could be carried in early versions and up to 550 in later models.[80] The 747SR had an economic design life objective of 52,000 flights during 20 years of operation, compared to 24,600 flights in 20 years for the standard 747.[130] The initial 747SR model, the -100SR, had a strengthened body structure and landing gear to accommodate the added stress accumulated from a greater number of takeoffs and landings.[131] Extra structural support was built into the wings, fuselage, and the landing gear along with a 20% reduction in fuel capacity
WhiteKnight77 1
I guess you missed the part about one of the articles specifically detailing the use of a 747-400 and not just a -100. In this case it was modified and specifically sold to Japanese carriers for those short haul routes. While they are no longer flown, it does show that even newer versions of the venerable aircraft were used.
ImperialEagle 1
Not to mention the width of the average American's posterior.
Jose Lauzardo 1
Great So good to hear!
Larry Horton 1
I wouldn't trust it. Seen it too many times. You book a round trip, use half, the airline goes belly up and you are left trying to book a return flight. No thanks, I'll pay more.
That dog won't hunt


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