Geneva, Switzerland-based business aviation group TAG Aviation Holding has sold its US-based aircraft management and chartering business to Sentient Flight Group, a large specialist US-owned company in the same general aviation sector.
This follows the US Federal Aviation Administration's recent revocation of the operating licence of AMI Jet Charter, a US Part 135 charter company in which TAG Aviation USA owned 49% of the stock, on the grounds that effective operational control was being exercised by TAG rather than AMI, which a foreign-owned company is not permitted to do.
Sentient says: "The deal will provide TAG USA with a favourable solution to an operational control matter regarding operating authority of its affiliated certificate holder, AMI Jet Charter - which is largely related to TAG USA's foreign ownership by Swiss-based TAG Aviation Holding."
TAG Aviation USA chief executive Jake Cartwright says: "We are delighted to reach an agreement with the Sentient Flight Group to join forces and provide the continuity of outstanding service and safety that our owners have come to expect from TAG."
The new owner says it will not retain the TAG brand name, but will take on most of the company's employees. "The aircraft management teams - including the customer service and owner relationship teams - from TAG USA will remain with the company and will work with the teams from Sentient Flight Group to maintain continuity of service and operating capability for all owners," it says.
"The teams will work with each of the TAG aircraft owners and the charter ally partner aircraft from AMI Jet Charter to develop plans that allow [aircraft] to be transferred as soon as possible." This acquisition is expected to double the number of aircraft Sentient manages.
Sentient Flight Group chief executive Steven Hankin says: "Our team will work on behalf of all TAG aircraft owners to effectively and seamlessly integrate the TAG Aircraft Management business and its experienced personnel into our organisation."
Sentient says the FAA is being kept aware of the transfer of business, and that when AMI-managed aircraft have been transferred to Sentient it expects to be able to operate them under its own operating licence.