Ultimate Jetcharters (UE, Akron/Canton) has cancelled seasonal air charter services this summer to Gulf Shores, Alabama, that were to have operate under the Southeast Beach Express brand.

Twice weekly flights to Gulf Shores were to start on June 3, 2021, from Atlanta Dekalb-Peachtree, Baton Rouge, and Cincinnati Lunken, according to the company website. Southeast Beach Express flights were public charters sold and operated by Ultimate Jetcharters LLC as the direct air carrier. They were being marketed by subsidiary Ultimate Air Shuttle (UE, Cincinnati Lunken) under the Southeast Beach Express brand.

The cancellation comes just one month after the carrier announced the plans on the company’s social media platforms.

Southeast Beach Express is the project of New Orleans-based entrepreneur Jay Taffet, a former United States Air Force pilot and founder of venture development firm, Gracen Jules. According to his LinkedIn page, he specialises in aviation start-ups.

“We certainly regret having to cancel air service into Gulf Shores. We still think it’s a terrific travel amenity for both beach-goers and Baldwin County residents looking for direct air service to Atlanta and Baton Rouge,” Taffet said in a statement to ch-aviation.

“Unfortunately, we encountered two major hurdles we didn’t anticipate when we began our planning for air service: A significant inventory of beach lodging unavailable for booking due to storm damage and a national shortage of rental cars due to the pandemic. These two factors made it very difficult to induce drivers to fly, as car travel allows much more schedule flexibility and obviously built-in ground transportation at the destination.”

Ultimate Jetcharters began refunding advanced seat bookings on May 21 after still having advertised the flights on May 13.

“We wish we could have operated Southeast Beach Express into Gulf Shores this summer, but passenger demand and seat bookings were just not there to move forward with the air shuttle. We hope there’s an opportunity for the air service next summer, and we’ll begin looking at the routes in the fall toward potentially creating a flight schedule from Atlanta and Baton Rouge next June,” commented Rick Pawlak, Senior Vice President of Ultimate Air Shuttle.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, Ultimate Jetcharters operates eight Do328-300s (of which three are active and the rest are stored) and two EMB-135LRs.