Via Airlines Sold to Atlanta Charter Flight Service

July 12, 2019

The financially troubled Via Airlines of Maitland has been acquired by Ashley Air of Atlanta, a charter service catering to leisure, business and luxury travelers.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed Thursday as part of a nondisclosure agreement. Ashley Air’s chief executive officer, Johns Ashley Jr., will serve in that same role with Via. Eventually the two airlines will merge, he said.

“Our first order of business is to expand on Via Airline’s operational capabilities with a significant capital infusion to maximize its potential, satisfy the market and eventually expand to the hundreds of communities that desperately need direct air service,” Ashley said.

Via had been the only airline based in Central Florida with scheduled passenger service. Its offices are in Maitland, while Sanford’s airport was it primary hub. Via relied on a small fleet of 50-passenger jets.

Financial difficulties this year had begun to erode the company’s ability to maintain its schedule of flights to smaller cities in the Southeast and as far north as West Virginia and as far west as Arizona.

In May, just before the company shut down its routes, the chief executive officer, Irit Vizer, said an inability to hire and retain pilots was one Via’s primary challenges.

“I trust that the new Via Airlines CEO, Johnny Ashley, will continue to take the company to new heights with the endless opportunities that are ahead," Vizer said.

Vizer and her husband, Amos, acquired Charter Air Transport for an undisclosed price in 2013 and rebranded that company as Via in 2015. The Winter Park couple grew up in Israel, where he was a military pilot and she specialized in human resources for Israeli Defense Forces.

Latest News

Fatal stabbing near Apopka deemed self-defense; dead woman’s suspected accomplices face murder charge


Man who livestreamed shootout with Orange deputies convicted of attempted murder, other charges


Scott Nelson should get life in prison – not death penalty – for killing of Jennifer Fulford, jury decides


Amos Vizer will continue in his role as board chairman “so that we can make a smooth transition,” Ashley said.

Ashley said he will take over day-to-day operations of Via immediately with a goal of relaunching scheduled service this fall. Sanford’s airport will continue to be hub, he said.

Meanwhile, Via and Ashley will provide charter flights, Ashley said.

[email protected]


©2019 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)

Visit The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.) at

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.