Jason Unsworth is the founder and CEO of Atmosphere Air, a UK based startup airline. He aims to establish a premium airline group in four different countries: the UK, India, Thailand and U.A.E. The airline company, Atmosphere Intercontinental Airlines was set up in 2015 and has been in active negotiations with banks and institutions for raising funds since then. The company is registered but doesn’t have an operating permit.
Jason Unsworth does have previous aviation experience. As per his LinkedIn profile, he took cabin crew training at Ryanair but quit citing a poor job offer. He moved to Servisair as a Passenger service agent at London Stansted. Jason then moved to Swissport as a passenger service agent and later on worked as a passenger service agent at Jet2.com but quit in 2018.
Talking about Atmosphere Air, it has an impressive but inoperative website. It is mentioned that the airline is looking to lease 2 Boeing 777-300ER and 2 737 NG aircraft. There is even a flight schedule published for planned flights between the UK and Thailand. Atmosphere Intercontinental Airlines plans to be based out of London Stansted airport.
The founder is quite active on Twitter and is expressing his desire to take over Jet Airways and help restart flight operations as soon as possible.
He even contacted Vinay Dube, CEO of Jet Airways to offer his support and a possible buyout of Jet Airways. He is now asking for contact details of the Chairman of SBI, the largest lender of Jet Airways to put forward his plan and offer his expertise. Those contact details were subsequently supplied to him by Ajay, who worked at SBI at a point of time in his life.
On being questioned about his experience in running an airline, he said he was self-taught and had contacts.
If he was so interested he could have just participated in the bidding process that ended on April 12, 2019. But wait, to participate in the bidding, the following financial obligations were to be met,
The document says the bidder can be a strategic investor having a minimum net worth of Rs 1,000 crore as of FY18, Rs 1,000 crore funds available for investment in an Indian company or asset, and three years of commercial aviation experience. It can also be a financial investor with Rs 2,000 crore assets under management or Rs 1,000 crore funds available for investment in an Indian company or asset. Alternatively, it can be a consortium of not more than three entities with each entity holding a minimum of 15% in the grouping and the leader holding a minimum of 26%.
And that is precisely what Atmosphere Air doesn’t have.
So he even met with investors who are willing to inject USD 215 million. That is one exciting place to meet an investor(s) who is ready to pump millions of dollars.
Heck, this guy even put a hybrid livery if he takes over Jet Airways.
Well, that’s not half bad a livery. But I kind of dig the original Jet Airways livery more. Anyways, have a look at his master plan for Jet Airways which he tweeted a while back.
Jet Airways clarified with BSE that unsolicited email communication was received, but they have asked him to deal with the investment banker on the process. Jason claims to have submitted a letter of intent today. Let’s see how this plays.
He is getting serious now.
Should our bid for @jetairways become successful, we will keep all @jetairways staff, restart operations, asap, staff at @jetairways are invited to follow @aiaukcareers for recruitment updates & information… pic.twitter.com/oqvPSEjQ6T
— Atmosphere Airlines (@atmosphereairuk) April 24, 2019
This guy wants one thing, publicity and he is getting it.
A piece of advice for Jason, leave Jet Airways alone. Everyone involved has a lot on their hands whether it is the lenders or Jet Airways. And as for funds for your start-up, you can file for an IPO just like USA’s oldest startup airline did, which also never flew, Baltia which is now US Global Airways. There is extensive coverage on Baltia available over the years and is a compelling case.