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New Airline's Plans Grounded - For Now

Yuichi Kosio
Flickr Creative Commons
Florida Express Jet, a fledgling airline that recently announced plans for affordable intrastate flights, has grounded its plans – for now. ";

Florida Express Jet was poised to answer the prayers of consumers in the capital city last week when it announced plans to begin jetting Floridians across the state at bargain prices. The newly-minted company promised flyers hundred dollar one-way flights from Tallahassee as far south as Ft. Lauderdale but the company reneged on its proposal in a Tuesday morning email to Tallahassee Airport Director Chris Curry. Curry said the airline started selling tickets before negotiations were even finalized.

“What I was informed of yesterday morning is that they would be halting their service because they failed to acquire the amount of capital that they desired to start the service. In addition to that, there were some issues with them obtaining gate space at Ft. Lauderdale Airport,” Curry explained.

The company has already refunded the cost of tickets purchased but officials haven’t said whether they’ll continue pursuing gate space in Ft. Lauderdale or Tallahassee. Florida State University Business professor Caesar Douglas thinks the airline might’ve acted too soon when selling tickets to a gate they hadn’t secured yet. Douglas theorized the airline was likely squeezed out by larger competitors that refused to give up any of their space. He says it all comes down to who owns the means of distribution.

“In a larger scale – Netflix and Comcast, Netflix we know what they do – they stream movies to consumers. Comcast controls the distribution channel – the cable that goes to consumer’s houses. They recently began slowing down the flow to consumer’s houses because they wanted some of the revenue Netflix was making,” Douglas said.

Netflix ended up striking a deal with its cable foe, but there’s no word yet whether Florida Express Jet will reach a similar agreement with its competitors. Until then, some consumers unwilling to pay high premiums for intrastate flights may be reduced to traversing the interstate.