The Truth: Atmosphere Intercontinental Airlines

What's the Deal with Atmosphere Intercontinental Airlines?

Last week, I wrote about a start-up airline, Atmosphere Intercontinental Airlines, which plans to start operations at Stansted Airport, and is a suitor in the purchase of the ailing Indian carrier, Jet Airways.

There have been concerns on numerous internet forums and on social media surrounding the credibility of the claims made by the founder, and self-proclaimed CEO of Atmosphere Intercontinental Airlines.

I had sent a letter to the chap, a Mr Jason Unsworth, outlining a series of questions regarding the viability and source of funding for his start-up. The letter can be read here.

Given the level of disregard towards the proposals made by Mr Unsworth on the web and on the basis of which most criticism is ignored by him, it is without surprise that my letter has not been responded to. Not even an acknowledgement, or direction to a press officer/solicitor/legal adviser.

I can however, now conclude that the claims to be establishing an airline to fly from Stansted Airport to long-haul destinations around the world are clearly, evidently and beyond doubt a fantasy.

Similarly, claims to be making a quantifiable bid for the defunct Indian carrier “Jet Airways” are also predicated on delusions of grandeur.

In order to reach this conclusion, I have conducted a basic investigation, one of which any journalist can and should do before running a story (yes, CNBC TV18 and MoneyControl.com, I’m talking about you). I have contacted key players, government agencies in the UK & India, and gauged the responses of individuals and businesses named over the previous months on the many social media accounts operated by or under the control of Mr. Unsworth.

Firstly, in order to operate an airline either based in or flying to the United Kingdom, that airline must be licensed by the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority.

A CAA spokesperson confirmed; “We have not received any applications for an Airline Licence or an Air Operators Certificate from Atmosphere Intercontinental Airlines.”

Oh dear, so no licence. Not even an application for a licence. No AOC either.

Despite that pretty terminal (excuse the regrettable pun) rebuke by the CAA, I contacted the airport at which ‘Atmosphere’ claims to be based and intends to be operating its flight schedule from.

A spokesperson for Stansted Airport told me; “We have no connection or dealings with this organisation.”

Interestingly, the spokesperson went on to say; “We are aware of claims it makes on various social media platforms, which are very annoying and unrelated to any airport plans or activities.”

Quite a scathing indictment there for any company claiming to be starting operations out of that airport then, and definitely fatal blow from a public relations perspective.

In public tweets, claims have been made regarding working with Kase Aviation, an aircraft engineering firm based in Thailand. The Managing Director of Kase Aviation, Natpan Seneewongse, responded to me by saying; “Let me confirm back to you that KASE Aviation has never conducted any business with Atmosphere intercontinental airline. The person Mr. Jason Unsworth as you mentioned has never worked with us.”

In respect of the claims by Atmosphere to have other staff, the name of “Miss Sasithorn Hongchompoo” has been circulated online and on social media as the “Managing Director Thai” of the company. The Atmosphere website also claims she is; “assisting leading our growing team of aviation professionals, working with Kase Aviation Thailand as an aircraft engineer and customs broker.”

Well, Mr. Seneewongse had this interesting development to note; “Miss Sasithorn Hongchompoo used to work for our company for 5 months as a CLERK not an ENGINEER or CUSTOM OFFICER. She is now no longer an employee of our company.”

Well that is very interesting indeed. Mr. Seneewongse concluded; “It is unfortunate that our name has been used without our permission or knowledge.”

So as research goes, it doesn’t get any more conclusive than this. Mr Unsworth has and at the time of writing, continues to wilfully mislead.

When it comes to reality, setting up a business in the UK has been purposely designed to be an easy task. Anyone can register a limited company in the UK, anyone can apply for a business bank account and business finance. The simple fact of developing a business plan, and indeed, rule 101 of incubator business is – be realistic about what is achievable.

There is no plausible business plan for Atmosphere’s planned airline operations, or its rescue of Jet Airways.

Sadly in this case, what Mr. Unsworth wants to achieve isn’t realistic – infact it wasn’t ever. Even if it was, it now isn’t because all credibility has been lost. The real prospect and likelihood of long-lasting effects for him could be severe should any of the organisations I’ve been in touch with, wish to take matters further.

For those who want to be a pilot, but don’t have the resources to fly, there is realistic flight simulation software. For those who want to run businesses, but don’t have the resources, knowledge or background, there is also realistic economic simulation software.

What’s even more tragic in this case, is that my advice will not be noted. The advice of others will likely also fall by the wayside. It won’t be until it is too late that Mr. Unsworth will ultimately realise that you simply cannot play business like its a game.

For the former employees of Jet Airways who may read this – do not take any credence of claims made that Atmosphere is riding in on gilt-edged phoenix, ready to raise the company from the ashes. It’s simply not going to happen.

If all the facts above still haven’t provided proof beyond reasonable doubt, the fact that as of writing, Atmosphere’s accounts at Companies House now stand at nearly two month’s overdue, despite numerous folk, including myself, pointing this out to Mr. Unsworth, should settle the matter entirely.

No credible, solvent business fails to file with Companies House – a basic legal requirement – especially one with business and aviation experts apparently advising it.

There is, in my judgement, a case here for local Essex Trading Standards and Action Fraud to have a look into.


Update: 25th May 2019

To bring closure to the case of Atmosphere Intercontinental Airlines and attempts to purchase India’s Jet Airways, it has now been confirmed by multiple sources, including the State Bank of India themselves, that they are not considering unsolicited bids for the airline, including that of Mr. Jason Unsworth.

The bank cited that their minimum requirements to even be considered are;

  • 5 years operational airline management experience
  • Proven quantifiable credentials in business turnaround and rehabilitation
  • Minimum net worth of ₹1000 crore (£113,435,000.00)
  • Minimum (invest-able) cash on hand of ₹1000 crore (£113,435,000.00) [committed funds]
  • Maximum of three consortium members (each with a minimum of 15% shareholding)
  • An entity can only participate in one bid

 

Let’s examine these piece by piece, and weigh up the proven facts against the blather and whimsical claims.

5 years operational airline management experience – definitely not.  I’m 100% certain that cabin crew training and check-in clerking doesn’t count as airline management experience.  There has been no quantifiable evidence presented of any individual that is engaged with Mr. Unsworth that can fulfil this obligation.  Even with that said, as Mr. Unsworth published Annex 1 of the EOI for Jet Airways, presenting himself as the lead partner, the bid fails at this first hurdle.

On the note of the EOI as issued by SBI Capital, Mr. Unsworth has to date, only ever disclosed the first part of the completed document, and has failed to disclose Annexes 2 through 5, which would provide the bones and quantifiable evidence of the claims he makes.  Without those, and the pages with the signatures of all those involved in the bid, this is debunked.

Proven quantifiable credentials in business turnaround and rehabilitation – I’ve certainly seen no evidence of this.  In fact, it would appear that as there are no filed accounts at companies house, and those that are overdue don’t appear to be forthcoming, that there are no quantifiable credentials in business, let alone business turnaround!  Further research shows that Mr. Unsworth has not held any previous registered directorships, and is not known to business analytics firms Dun & Bradstreet (Atmosphere does not hold a DUNS number) or Bureau Van Dijk.  On the basis that to do any real business in this area, at the minimum a DUNS number would be requested by potential partners, their legal advisers, and auditors, it is safe to say that this test has not been met.

Minimum net worth of ₹1000 crore (£113,435,000.00) – I had asked the question about who are the financial backers and who are the bankers.  Neither question was answered by Mr. Unsworth, so without the proof of net worth, of which Mr Unsworth would have to contribute a minimum of 15% (£17,015,250.00) to a consortium, any claim of being worth at least £17MILLION is debunked.

Minimum (invest-able) cash on hand of ₹1000 crore (£113,435,000.00) [committed funds] – This is the operational cash in the bank to use on re-starting airline operations – of which Jason Unsworth and/or Atmosphere Intercontinental Airlines would have to provide a minimum of £17,015,250.00.  As previous, without details of financial backers and bankers, there is no way that claims to re-start the airline can be made.  Again, Mr Unsworth would have to contribute a minimum of 15% of the cash on hand to a consortium, something generally available through public records, however with no filings of accounts to Companies House, it is not possible verify cash on hand funds.  Any claims therefore to have £17,015,250 in cash on hand are debunked.

Maximum of three consortium members (each with a minimum of 15% shareholding) – Even as of late yesterday afternoon (24th May 2019), Mr. Unsworth has claimed publicly that he has a consortium of FIVE.

3:24pm · 24 May 2019 · Twitter for iPhone · Chelmsford, East, United Kingdom · @JasonUnsworth2

Update: @jetairways I understand there is some doubt regarding our bid, which I would like to clear up, we submitted a binding bid to @TheOfficialSBI which includes a consortium of investors, 1) My World Ventures, 2) Future Trend Capital, 3) Redcliffe Capital 4) Mallhar Hospitality, 5) Choose Travel, with further interested investors who are welcome to join. (Source: Twitter)

So, that didn’t require much effort on my part to debunk, it debunked itself.

An entity can only participate in one bid – I’ve added this point simply because it is another case of where the tangled web social media can really bite, especially if one is engaging in deception.

I have already uncovered in the previous point, that Mr. Unsworth claims to be in Consortium with five other parties and seeks to invite others, despite the maximum allowed being three.

So back to social media we go:

3:24pm · 24 May 2019 · Twitter for iPhone · Chelmsford, East, United Kingdom · @JasonUnsworth2

“I will submit more documents to @TheOfficialSBI and attend a meeting with @qatarairways UK manager next week, and others.” (Source: Twitter)

I’m not quite sure what Mr. Unsworth is expecting from Qatar Airways to be honest.  They can’t join his already over-subscribed and rejected consortium.   Similarly, Mr. Unsworth can’t join any new consortium containing Qatar Airways because “an entity can only participate in one bid”!   Just to confirm also, withdrawing from a bid, or withdrawing a bid in its entirety does not allow one to re-bid or join another bid.  The person and/or entity would be barred permanently from re-entering the bidding process (see: Jet Airways EOI).

In any case, Qatar Airways UK offices, when I contacted them, denied any involvement or that any such meeting taking place.

So there you have it.  Don’t forget that in my Twitter Q&A with Mr. Unsworth, he was unable to answer another host of important questions, so this latest tranche of detail only goes to serve as the final whistle on this affair.


May 31st Update

After weeks of waiting, and promises of an official response – a response of sorts was received via the auspices of Facebook, where I have been openly attacked by the account of, and those supposedly involved in Atmosphere.  Click Here to read it or click on the image below.

The Response: Atmosphere Intercontinental Airlines

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