Startup Airline’s Top Job for Sale: Become Avatar’s CEO For $250K, No Experience Needed, Fraud History A Plus!

Avatar Airlines is a startup – some might call it fanfiction – that’s been claiming it’s getting off the ground since 1992. They used to call it Family Airlines. The founder even went to prison for tax and securities fraud in connection with raising money for the venture.

They’ve been at it so long that they need a transition plan and are looking for a new Chief Executive Officer to “take over from the current CEO/Founder who at 82 will retire to the Chairman position.” (HT: @CrankyFlier)

  • “Prior airline experience is not a requirement.”
  • However, handing over $250,000 is.

Our CEO position requires a $250,000 investment in Avatar. The reason current management feels this is necessary are many but most of all it provides the assurance of knowing our CEO will be fully engaged and dedicated to seeing Avatar get off the ground. These funds will be used primarily to begin marketing Avatar’s $300,000,000 offering.

They say supporting the founder’s retirement investing $250,000 is needed to fully commit the candidate to the future success of the airline. You’d think the fact that the CEO role’s “compensation package is based on Avatar’s ability to raise the funds necessary to get off the ground” would be enough incentive alignment!

I guess the last new CEO didn’t work out?

Avatar has been mostly quiet for the past 3 years about their plan to fly Boeing 747s domestically. The idea was fine for service between Los Angeles and Las Vegas on a Friday afternoon, I suppose. But what do you do with the plane out of Albuquerque on Wednesday? This has been their proposed route map:

Every few months they would put out a new idea like hunting for used Boeing 747s on social media offering to take British Airways Boeing 747-400s off the U.K. flag carrier’s hands in exchange for stock and suggesting they’d supplant American Airlines as BA’s U.S. domestic partner.

They also issued a ‘letter of intent’ to Boeing to buy 30 747-8s four years ago. I’m not sure what their intent means at this point, considering that the FAA elected to stop processing their application to become an airline in… 1993.

Avatar said they “plan[..] to be valued at” over $1 billion “before [their] first flight leaves the ground.” I think they should be more ambitious, given inflation the past few years. Even struggling JetBlue has a market cap of nearly $2 billion. Why not plan to be worth $10 billion?

I used to think Avatar Airlines was a run of the mill investment scam, but then I figured out they must be a job scam, too, when they were trying to sell pilots their jobs. They were asking $75,000 to $150,000 for someone to become an Avatar Airlines pilot, emphasizing that they’d have a low seniority number. Now they want $250,000, but you get to be CEO!

During the pandemic they claimed to be a better investment than money-losing legacy airlines since they weren’t an airline yet and therefore weren’t losing billions! That didn’t stop them from applying for government airline subsidies, of course.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Maybe you guys should try talking with Avatar before you decide to trash them?

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