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|Commenced operations||Never started operations|
|Headquarters||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Boca Raton, Florida, United States
|Key people||Myron Barry Michaels (Chief Executive Officer)|
The airline gained press attention after it said that it would offer $249 U.S. dollar fares from Los Angeles to New York City. The airline announced that it would cater to family travelers who found traditional airlines to be too expensive. In June 1992 Myron Barry Michaels, the chief executive, said that "For the most part, we're looking at the leisure market, although there will be some business traffic, particularly on the San Francisco-Los Angeles sector." The airline announced that it would use "between three and five Boeing 747-100/200s" and that the first routing would go from Las Vegas to Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey to Miami to Las Vegas. The airline also announced that it was negotiating lease and purchase deals with European and Asian carriers involving parked 747-200s in desert areas and one involving a former Pan Am 747-100.
In an August 1992 Philadelphia Inquirer article Donald D. Groff compared Family Airlines to People Express Airlines. Family Airlines, which moved into a building in the Las Vegas Valley adjacent to McCarran International Airport in September 1992, stated that it planned to start Las Vegas to Los Angeles and Las Vegas to Newark in November 1992 and later begin services to San Francisco, Phoenix, Honolulu, Miami, and Boston. The airline also announced that it would begin service to Honolulu from Los Angeles or San Francisco for $249.
In March 1993 the Federal Aviation Administration announced that it would no longer process Family Airlines's application to begin service. In April 1993, after the United States Department of Transportation reviewed lawsuits and judgments against founder Barry Michaels, the agency asked Michaels to relinquish control of the proposed airline. On April 27 Michaels agreed to relinquish control of the airline. On June 24, 1996, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a suit against Barry Michaels and his wife, Holly S. Michaels, for fraudulently offering unregistered stock for the airline. A federal judge in California ordered Barry and Holly Michaels to return $363,306 to the investors and pay $181,000 per person in civil penalties.
In January 2008, Family Airlines reappeared when a new application was filed with the Department of Transportation, with Michaels as CEO. The airline intended to operate up to twelve Boeing 747-400 aircraft in a 581-seat configuration in its first year of operation. Initial service would be between Los Angeles, New York, and Miami, with additional destinations to be added in the first year. Observers noted there were no significant changes from the airline's 1990s business plan, and a year later the airline's application was denied.
In 2010, the airline filed again, this time under the name Avatar Airlines, however the application did not proceed. In March 2014, Avatar relocated its corporate headquarters to Boca Raton, Florida and filed another application with the Department of Transportation, according to which Michaels no longer held a management position with the company. However, that same month, Michaels met with airport officials in Jacksonville, Florida where he represented himself as the Chairman of the airline.
- Sanchez, Jesus. "Family Airlines still on ground." Los Angeles Times. March 13, 1993. Page 3.
- Pulley, Brett and Bridget O'Brien. "New Airlines, Bucking Trend, Hunt for Niches." The Wall Street Journal. Tuesday September 29, 1992. Section B, Page 1, Column 6.
- "Civil Action No. CV 95-2499 LGB (BQRx) Securities and Exchange Commission v. Myron Barry Michaels and Holly S. Michaels." Securities and Exchange Commission. June 24, 1996.
- "Las Vegas couple fined in alleged airline fraud." Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Tuesday June 25, 1996.
- "New airlines spring up in the USA." Flight International. June 3, 1992.
- Groff, Donald D. "Airline with cheap fares but no flights to fancy." Philadelphia Inquirer. August 30, 1992. Section R, Page 2, Column 5.
- "No-frills airline to challenge major players." Toronto Star. September 12, 1992. Travel H21.
- "Skybus rises from ashes of defunct airlines with survival plan." The Washington Times. October 1, 1992. Money C3.
- Sanchez, Jesus. "Family airlines gets ultimatum from the DOT: Michaels must go." Los Angeles Times. April 21, 1993. D2.
- Sanchez, Jesus. "Family airlines' founder agrees to give up control." Los Angeles Times. April 28, 1993. D1.
- Hayes, Dade. "Encino; Chiropractor Indicted in Mail Fraud Case." Los Angeles Times. September 19, 1997.
- Maxon, Terry (February 5, 2008). "Family Airlines plans to fly cheap". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
- Harty, Jack (March 12, 2014). "Another Start Up Airline: Avatar/Family Airlines (Again)". Airways News. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
- Satchell, Arlene (April 17, 2014). "Another airline start-up has eyes on South Florida". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved October 13, 2014.
- "Action News Investigates Proposed Low-Cost Airline". ActionNewsJax.com. May 14, 2014. Retrieved October 13, 2014.