Pittsburgh's Allegheny County Airport Authority has sued the air services provider OneJet saying that OneJet has failed to offer the quantity of flights it committed to when it accepted a $1 million economic development grant in 2016.
Meanwhile, OneJet's deal to purchase Ultimate JetCharters, parent of the Cincinnati-based scheduled charter carrier Ultimate Air Shuttle, has also fallen through.
In the Aug. 8 Allegheny County court filing, the county's airport authority states that per its grant agreement, OneJet was required to market 10 routes from Pittsburgh and that the routes had to last at least 60 months. Five of the routes had to be in service by the end of the 2016 and five more were to be in service by the end 2017.
However, as of the filing, OneJet was marketing just two routes from Pittsburgh. A check of the OneJet website on Wednesday showed that the company was selling flights from Pittsburgh to Hartford and Indianapolis.
OneJet is a charter company that schedules small jet flights from commercial airports.
The Allegheny County Airport Authority is suing OneJet for $763,000.
The fortunes of OneJet, which caters to business passengers flying between midsize cities, have changed quickly since Travel Weekly did a feature story on the company in mid spring. At the time, OneJet was scheduling 10 routes from Pittsburgh and another two from Milwaukee using seven-seat jets.
In addition, in March the carrier opened Buffalo, N.Y.-Albany, N.Y., service on a 30-seat Embraer ERJ 135 aircraft. At the time, CEO Matt Maguire said the company planned to have three more 30-seat jets in operation this summer.
Maguire didn't respond to phone calls for comment.
In keeping with its robust expansion plans, OneJet announced in May that it had agreed to acquire Ultimate JetCharters. The purchase was to include the Ultimate Air Shuttle brand, which operates regularly scheduled charters between Cincinnati and five eastern cities, utilizing private airports.
Ultimate managing director Rick Pawlak told Travel Weekly that the deal has been off for the past few weeks.
"Ultimate JetCharters has terminated all acquisition agreements with OneJet," he said.
Pawlak declined to give a reason why the deal fell through but said it hasn't had an impact on Ultimate Air's operations. Ultimate Air never included any OneJet strategies into its business plan, he said.
Joe Brancatelli, editor of JoeSentMe, a subscription website for business travelers, said that OneJet is on its way out. "[O]f course they are toast," he said.
But more broadly, Brancatelli said that public charter operators like OneJet are doomed from the beginning. Public charters typically provide regularly scheduled service but differ from commercial airlines in a variety of ways, including by often using private terminals and by holding certification to only use aircraft that are 30 seats or smaller.
"[T]he fly-by-night nature of the public charters is very unsavory," Brancatelli wrote in an email. "History proves they do not survive long."
Along with its two Pittsburgh routes, OneJet still offers Indianapolis-Hartford, Conn., service and Buffalo-Albany service, the company's website shows.