Miami Air International Liquidates

Filed Under: Other Airlines

Unfortunately one US charter airline named after my home city has just liquidated. First a bit of background…

The basics of Miami Air

For those of you not familiar with Miami Air, they were a charter airline based in Miami. The airline was founded in 1991, and most recently operated a fleet of up to six Boeing 737-800s.

The airline exclusively operated charter flights, including for major sports teams, the military, cruise lines, and tour operators. Miami Air has operated charter flights to six continents, so they didn’t just fly regionally.

The airline had several 737-800 configurations, ranging from having just 68 seats in an all business class layout, to having 168 seats in an all economy class layout.

Miami Air 737-800 in all business class layout

Some may remember Miami Air from the incident they had in May 2019, where a charter flight from Guantanamo Bay in Cuba to Jacksonville skid off the runway and came to a stop in a river. Fortunately everyone made it out alive, but there were some injuries.

Miami Air liquidates

Unfortunately Miami Air has been hit hard by COVID-19. In March Miami Air filed for Chapter 11, and yesterday (May 8, 2020) Miami Air ceased operations. Yesterday the airline informed staff that they couldn’t arrange a viable acquisition or funding strategy.

The airline saw a huge drop in charter business due to COVID-19, in particular from sports teams. The airline didn’t have as much liquidity as some of the other major airlines, so Miami Air was left with no choice but to liquidate.

Bottom line

Lots of airlines are struggling right now, though I believe that Miami Air is the first US airline to liquidate following the COVID-19 crisis. Given that the airline relied heavily on sports charters, I guess that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

I always enjoyed seeing Miami Air planes at MIA, and wish the best for the staff.

(Tip of the hat to @Horus_The_Local)

Comments
  1. This is very sad news for one of my former customers.

    They ran an interesting operation between their sports charters, military charters and wet leases.

  2. Miami Air chartered a Pitt-Puerto Vallarta flight for me 5+ years ago for a college spring break trip. The entire 737 flight had these funky hand written boarding passes, and the inbound flight was delayed. When the plane finally arrived at the gate it was so overwhelming for the crew to hand check each hand written boarding pass that they decided to let anybody onto that plane and simply do a “head count” to make sure the numbers were correct before leaving. Wild times.

  3. @John – I’ll fulfill your request. Of course this is Trump’s fault; his pussy footed dithering early on is what led us to the economic damage we are feeling now. If he had bothered to act back in January then we wouldn’t be in this mess, but instead the dumbass doesn’t understand an exponential function.

    Every 4 days earlier that he would have acted would would mean another halving of the death rate.

    So yeah, this is blatantly Trump’s fault. History will remember him as the dumbest, most self destructive president in American history.

  4. @Will for context…this is what NYC Councilman Mark Levine posted on February 9th NINE days after travel from China was limited:

    https://twitter.com/marklevinenyc/status/1226598568187830272?s=21

    The key word there is “defiance.”

    DiBlasio only closed schools because the teachers union was threatening a lawsuit.

    Cuomo and NY State mandated that infected patients be returned to Nursing Homes instead of the federally supplied hospital beds he was provided.

    This is a catastrophic and spiteful failure on the part of NYC/State “leadership.”

  5. I believe Peninsula Air (Penn Air) in the NE liquidated at the end of March, beginning of April…making them the first Covid-19 airline casualty in the United States.

  6. back to the topic, guys, there’ll be no winner in your “debate”…

    Many more airlines are doomed, too. The next few months will be crucial for their survival.

  7. I miss the hand-written boarding passes Miami Air used. I remember Spirit used to do this also as late as the mid-90s. It was a little card and the check-in agent would hand write in the seat number.

  8. “I believe that Miami Air is the first US airline to liquidate following the COVID-19 crisis”

    Well it is the fourth US airline that shut down this year. I guess it depends on when you consider the COVID-19 crisis started…the other three (Compass Airlines, Ravn Alaska, and Trans States Airlines) all closed down in the first few weeks of April.

  9. My significant other was a Captain for MAI and flew for them for the last 15 years. I always enjoyed his feedback on the places they went and the different types of clients they flew. I have a pic of him with Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins holding the Stanley cup back in 2016. He only had 2 years to go until mandatory retirement, and unfortunately for a pilot at his age, the opportunities are few, and especially in the post-pandemic economy. For most pilots, this is not just a career, it is a passion and a part of who they are and see themselves to be, so the loss of employment takes a big toll on their psyche.

  10. I had no idea they used a Continental-eque globe on their tail. I’m surprised that didn’t prompt some kind of legal action from United.

  11. “… Miami Air has operated charter flights to six continents…” which continents? Never ever heard of them coming to Australia or Asia.

  12. @Aaron

    Ravn is actually the saddest and didn’t get much attention as it should. They provide lifeline and connection the rest of the world to remote Alaskan communities. Unlike the (Seattle based) Alaska, this is the airline that represents AK. Many of these communities don’t even have road access. Air is the only way these communities have access to vital food and medical supplies. This is as closest to essential as it gets.
    Maybe @Lucky can bring some more attention to the public and save the only connection to the last frontier.

  13. That all-business-class 737-800 looks pretty nice. Assuming the aircraft has been well maintained and is still in good operating condition, I’m sure another charter operator or sports team will be glad to purchase it at a favorable price.

  14. I flew Miami Air to Cancun on my high school senior trip. I remember thinking “What the hell is this airline?”

  15. Let’s not forget that this airline goes all the way back to the days of passenger service on 727s.

  16. YOU CAN BLAME THE OWNERS! TSI HOLDINGS. THANKS TO THEM HUNDREDS LOST JOBS AND INSURANCE IN THE MIDDLE OF A GLOBAL PANDEMIC. TSI HOLDINGS NEVER CARED FOR ITS AIRLINE AND SINCE THEY PURCHASED IT THEY ONLY SUCK OUT EVERY BIT OF MONEY THEY COULD. THEY ARE FILTH UPON THE EARTH. BEST PART IS WHEN YOU VISIT THE TSI WEBSITE IT READS “PEOPLE FIRST” LOL. TSI HOLDINGS, YOU ARE THE SCUM OF THE EARTH AND HOPEFULLY KARMA WILL CATCH UP TO YOU AND YOUR ENTIRE FAMILY WILL SUFFER WHAT YOU HAVE DONE TO THIS AIRLINE AND ITS EMPLOYEES AND FAMILIES. TSI HOLDINGS BURN IN HELL!

  17. Nope, they couldn’t comply with regulations, had the accident in JAX, Had several investigations ongoing, argued with the FAA, couldn’t/wouldn’t correct their shortcomings……

    That is more than likely the case of why they are ByBy.

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