Our client, a start-up airline, offered specialized air service that catered to the business traveler, based in a top 5 market.
More amenities and first class service throughout the aircraft were part of the business model. Flights to business destinations were to be offered. The combination of the improved customer experience could potentially result in a substantial competitive advantage over a major, established carrier.
The major carrier filed suit in a local “home town” court and sought to block the start-up from commencing operations.The major carrier also pursued several administrative avenues, seeking to block issuance of FAA flight approval.
When CLA was hired, there were multiple court actions and administrative proceedings pending. The start-up airline was spending an average of $350,000 per month in legal fees. Senior Officers of the company were also investing substantial time with legal counsel to discuss strategic and tactical plans. Major resources of capital, time and attention were devoted to the litigation and not to the core business of the start-up airline.
CLA was retained to manage all legal and administrative actions, and became the client representative to all legal counsel and experts.
Legal fees dropped to approximately $75,000 per month (a savings of $275,000 a month). A successful result in the legal proceedings was achieved in about 12 months.
Because of CLA’s engagement, the officers and directors were free to execute the business plan, which required substantial effort independent of the legal proceedings. The start-up airline won the legal action on appeal. The necessary administrative and governmental authorizations were issued, and they began flight operations in a highly competitive market, despite the vigorous actions of the established carrier.