The news is out: [Jet Linx had furloughed around 30% of its staff in March as business cratered and traffic had dried up by nearly 90%. Like most businesses, excess staff had nothing to do as potential customers were quarantining.
With the pandemic in full swing and the future of his business uncertain, Walker began to strategize how his firm would navigate the crisis.
“We immediately just started to use our time to think about how to strategically climb out of the pandemic,” Walker told Business Insider in an interview.
Then, Congress passed the CARES Act and millions in federal relief funds became and Jet Linx received $20 million in funds after applying. The firm was able to prevent further furloughs but there was an unforeseen string attached the funds in the form of public scrutiny due to the nature of the firm’s business.
“I know that when people hear the terminology ‘private jet’ they think that it’s not for the public,” Walker said. “We’re an essential service for the public, just like the airlines are.”
Walker’s definition of essential, however, proved to be different from the media’s with outlets like ProPublica calling out Jet Linx, which said the firm “caters to well-to-do CEOs and executives.” The fact that some Jet Linx executives had donated to the Trump campaign and Republican Party made matters even worse, as ProPublica also reported that nearly $70,000 was donated by a company vice chairman to various GOP campaigns and committees.]
That’s exactly what I predicted and posted when the money was allocated.