Surf Air (URF, Santa Monica) has filed a counterclaim against its once capacity provider Encompass Aviation (LC, Hawthorne), accusing it of demanding payments "far in excess" of the contractual rates, failing to provide transparency in regard to financial and operational data, and mismanagement, AIN Online has reported.

The lawsuit follows an earlier one filed by Encompass Aviation against Surf Air, in which it alleged that Surf Air failed to pay part of the amount owed for flights operated by Encompass and was notoriously late with other payments.

Surf Air terminated its relationship with Encompass Aviation, dating back to May 2017, on June 15, 2018, and subsequently awarded a charter contract to Advanced Air (Council Bluffs). Despite the termination of the contract, eight of Surf Air's PC-12s continue to be operated by Encompass Aviation and are proferred to the open market for charters. A further four units of the type have been moved to Tradewind Aviation (TJ, Oxford, CT), a capacity provider for Rise (Dallas Love Field), which, in turn, has been a Surf Air's subsidiary since 2017.

Surf Air expects to move the remaining eight units from Encompass to Tradewind shortly.

The Californian "all-you-can-fly" subscription-based charter carrier has initially launched with an own Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) but subsequently has relinquished its own charter authority and instead started chartering capacity from Encompass Aviation in 2017.

According to the Encompass Aviation lawsuit, Surf Air owes its capacity provider USD3.1 million. Surf Air has also reportedly accumulated USD2.33 million in overdue taxes for 2016 and 2017.