/ / / / / / / /

New Airline Alert: 747s as Flying Billboards with Avatar Airways

April 23, 2014 at 8:20 AM | by | ()

We’ll go ahead and admit we have our doubts about Avatar Airlines. There’s been a few articles here and there as well as a couple of press releases, as this new carrier attempts to share their vision and create a little buzz ahead of what is, hopefully, their first flights.

As is usually the case when a new airline tries to enter the market, there’s little detail about the larger plan with Avatar Airlines. They’re setting up shop in South Florida, and they plan to exclusively utilize Boeing 747s to operate domestic flights. That should make for a nice novelty, as jumbo jets rarely run routes that stay in the States these days.

Anyway, Avatar is promising that their planes will be configured with 539 seats in the main cabin, and 42 “Office Class” seats on the upper deck. This will all lead to what they’re claiming will be lowest cost per available seat mile in the industry. WiFi will definitely be available—at least as they say now—but it will come at a cost, as add-ons and extras are part of Avatar's business plan.

Apparently the paperwork has been filed with Uncle Sam—through the DOT and FAA—to actually operate as a commercial air carrier, so we’ll see how this all goes. Naturally we wish them all the best, and we’re mostly eager to see what sort of livery they slap on those 747s—it seems that they’ll allow advertisements both inside and outside of the plane.

The bottom line is, do not base your summer vacation plans on the future of Avatar Airlines, at least not yet.

[Photo: Avatar Airlines/WorldAirlineNews]

Archived Comments:

Plenty of Details -you just missed it Jaunted

Hello there. Thanks for some equal time. Michael Zapin here, Sr. Exec VP for Avatar. Thanks for helping to spread the word about Avatar, however, I take exception to the notion that there's "little detail about the larger plan." In fact, we publicized that we were holding our first press conference in Boca Raton last Thursday - and in fact held it - and I spoke personally for about 25 minutes along with President and COO Marv Ruthenberg about ALL FACETS of Avatar's unique business plan. There were plenty of details given out - we're sorry you could not be there to hear them. So let me expound or recap what some of those details were for you so you will understand that Avatar is not just another "new airline" with "little detail." Let's start with what you know and then move on to what you don't: Our plan to use 747's domestically in the USA - is pretty forward thinking. We are going to reconfigure the cabin to hold 581 seats including a small biz class upstairs (42 seats). The prices will be like NOTHING anyone has ever seen before. NY to Miami - $49 one way (plus tax); California to NY $79 one way, etc. Our prices will be 50% less than the lowest fares currently being charged today by the legacy carriers. The 581 seats on our aircraft only tells part of the Avatar story. Real food --- we have plans to partner up with all of the popular restaurants and eateries so bring you the meals that you want, rather than eating (if at all) what is available to be doled out. Branding --- anything you can see and touch will be up for sale for advertisers including full aircraft wraps by e.g., google or microsoft. Advertisers will pay big money to push their brands on what is essentially a large captive audience for the duration of an Avatar flight, and that revenue will continue to be used to keep the costs of air travel extremely low for our passengers. Cargo - the 747 has a huge belly to hold about 70k pounds of containerized cargo - there is a great wholesale market for this service. It is an excellent profit center for Avatar. It is a profit center not available to the legacy carriers because they are flying generally much smaller aircraft, i.e., 737's which do not have enough space to haul cargo. We have a plan to completely subsidize the cost of travel for our ticketed passengers if they are willing to participate in an onboard "focus" group. It is the closest you can get to flying for free (unless you've got a friend or relative willing to spring for your ticket). Virtually every part of our plan designed to build and sustain our profits while subsidizing the cost of the tickets for passengers. The exact OPPOSITE of what the legacy carriers do today -- which is to nickel and dime you to death with ridiculous hidden fees. Avatar will be coming out with a private placement memorandum to raise $300 million dollars, to insure that it remains well capitalized, debt free (we intend to purchase all of our aircraft) and asset-owned - how's that for a unique concept? Operating debt free. Avatar is poised to revolutionize the air travel industry by making air travel truly affordable for the average American. In doing so, it will stimulate the local economy wherever it chooses to venue its operations (please note the move to Boca Raton is a temporary move - we plan on basing operations in Florida but exact whereabouts have not been decided yet. It might be Miami. It could be Jacksonville. Or some place or places in between. Make no mistake - big changes are coming in the air. Avatar is not a question of IF ---- it is a question of WHEN --- and there is a lot of interest by potential investors and folks in the airline industry looking to become a part of what will likely be a historical day when Avatar makes its inaugural flight. Still a ways off --- but every day we are getting closer to making Avatar flights a reality. thanks for listening! Michael E. Zapin Sr. Exec VP, Avatar Airlines

Avatar will be a "green" airline

One other important point. Avatar - even with it's giant behemoth aircraft 747-400's with big engines, will, in essence be a "green" airline. Why? Do the math. There is a significant game changing ratio at work here - approximately 4:1 (legacy aircraft vs. Avatar). The most popular of the legacy aircraft, the 737 holds about 1/4 of the passengers an Avatar 747-400 will hold. This means, in essence, they will have to fly four times for every one flight on Avatar to move the approximate number of people. 4 to 1. Four sets of rubber tires versus one set of rubber tires. Eight engines (2 per 737) vs. Four engines (each 747-400 has 4 engines). Even though the 747 is far more powerful than the 737 and will accordingly burn more fuel vs. a single 737, there is no question we will be way more fuel efficient going up on one flight than the 737's going up four times. Avatar Airlines: your next generation "green airline" --- that's all the details for now... stay tuned... Michael Zapin, Sr. Exec VP Avatar Airlines


have Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Google, Sony, Budweiser, Monster and the others confirmed that they will be branding/wrapping 747s if they get off the ground? If not, do their respective legal departments know that their trademarks are being used in Avatar's Media Kit? I realize some of them might get testy at any unauthorized usage. I could see someone jump to the conclusion that and Google and Burger King and MasterCard are all on board based on their inclusion in the presentation.