Pittsburgh-based OneJet, which catered to business travelers by offering small jet air service between midsized markets, has suspended operations.

Pittsburgh-based OneJet, which catered to business travelers by offering small jet air service between midsized markets, has suspended operations.

08/31/2018 Posted by Jeff Wright

OneJet said the move will be a temporary one as it shifts its business model from contracting out flight operations to operating flights itself.

“Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused by this disruption; the result of this transition will be a more robust and reliable operation for our customers from the fourth quarter forward,” the company said. OneJet said the transition will last eight weeks and that it expects to resume flight bookings on Oct. 1.

The suspension follows a stream of recent bad news for OneJet. Pittsburgh’s Allegheny County Airport Authority sued OneJet for $763,000 in early August, saying that the company accepted a $1 million economic development grant in 2016 but failed to operate the required number of routes.

Around the same time, OneJet’s deal to purchase Ultimate JetCharters fell through, said Rick Pawlak, Ultimate’s managing director. UltimateJetCharters is parent of the Cincinnati-based scheduled charter carrier Ultimate Air Shuttle.

In another blow, the IRS filed a $622,000 tax lien against OneJet on Aug. 14 for nonpayment of federal excise taxes, the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette reported.

The fortunes of OneJet changed quickly. As recently as the spring, OneJet was offering the required 10 routes from Pittsburgh and another two from Milwaukee using seven-seat jets. In addition, in March the carrier opened Buffalo-Albany service on a 30-seat Embraer ERJ 135 aircraft. At the time, CEO Matt Maguire told Travel Weekly that the company planned to have three more 30-seat jets in operation this summer.

However, by last week OneJet was offering only the Buffalo-Albany flight, plus Pittsburgh-Hartford, Pittsburgh-Indianapolis and Indianapolis-Hartford.

Though the company says it will resume operations soon, some are skeptical.

“Canceling all flights for what seems like eight weeks at best is going to be a huge blow to an airline struggling to gain traction,” analyst and blogger Brett Snyder wrote on his website CrankyFlier.com. “And even that would be the best-case scenario. OneJet seems to have a list of enemies these days, and debts are mounting. If OneJet finds a way back into the air, I’ll be amazed.”