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Classic Limited Air, Inc.

Order 04-1-23
OST-04-16943 - Violations of 49 USC 41101 and 41712

Issued and Served January 29, 2004

Consent Order | Word

In August 1999, CLA began operations with a Boeing 727 and a Boeing 737-7BC, commonly known as a Boeing Business Jet (BBJ). Since then, CLA has provided air service pursuant to a significant number of contracts with a diverse range of entities, including a political campaign, a real estate development company, sports teams, rock bands, film production companies, various celebrities, and numerous charter brokers and agents.8 Service ranged from single flights to operations over several months.

On the question of whether it has held out air transportation, CLA states that it neither advertised nor directly solicited business. Rather, CLA maintains that the demand for its ostensibly private carriage service was driven solely, if indirectly, by “word of mouth.” However, even assuming that the carrier did not actively solicit business, its objective conduct involved the provision of air transportation to a significant number of diverse entities and, by doing so, it engaged in a course of conduct evincing a willingness to serve members of the general public indiscriminately.9 In effect, CLA gained a reputation for a willingness to provide transportation by air to at least a class or segment of the public while operating without an effective certificate issued under 49 U.S.C. § 41101.10 In fact, so well-established was CLA’s reputation that the carrier was frequently approached by air charter brokers who specialize in arranging air transportation services for members of the general public. The Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings (Enforcement Office), therefore, believes that CLA has engaged in common carriage without appropriate economic authority. Holding out air transportation without requisite authority is also an unfair and deceptive practice and unfair method of competition prohibited by 49 U.S.C. § 41712.

5. Classic Limited Air, Inc., is assessed $150,000 in compromise of civil penalties that might otherwise be assessed for the violations described in ordering paragraphs 2 and 3, above. Of the assessed penalty, $75,000 is due and payable within 30 days of the date of issuance of this order.

By: Rosalind Knapp

 

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