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SportsJet, L.L.C.

Order 03-12-23
OST-03-14194 - Violations of 49 U.S.C. §§ 41101 and 41712

Issued and Served December 29, 2003

Consent Order | Word

It is the Enforcement Office's position that, 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. 10 In effect, SportsJet 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." In fact, so well‑established was SportsJet's reputation that the carrier was frequently approached by air charter brokers who specialize in arranging air transportation services for members of the public. The Enforcement Office, therefore, believes that SportsJet 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.

In 1999, SportsJet began service with a Boeing 737‑400, primarily to provide carriage to certain professional athletic teams also owned by the ultimate owners of SportsJet. Over time, however, the carrier began providing air transportation to various entities unrelated to it or its ultimate owners, including a significant number of collegiate and professional sports teams, public figures, and non‑sports related businesses. In a number of these instances, SportsJet's service, which ranged from single flights to operations over an entire professional sports season, was performed pursuant to contracts with air charter brokers, who were holding out air transportation services to the public.8 In 2001, as its business expanded, SportsJet added a Boeing 757‑200 to its fleet.

SportsJet, in order to avoid litigation and without admitting or denying the alleged violations, agrees to the issuance of this order to cease and desist from future violations of 49 U.S.C. § 41101 and 41712 by engaging in common carriage directly or indirectly, and to the assessment of $250,000 in compromise of potential civil penalties. Of this total penalty amount, $125,000 shall be paid under the terms described below.

By: Rosalind Knapp

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