Updated: Nick Houseman leaves OJets and returns to Elit’Avia


Nick Houseman has left OJets, where he was CEO, to return to Elit’Avia, which is partly owned by the Singaporean business-jet operator.

The planned 100% acquisition of Elit’Avia by OJets has also been shifted to a 30% stake.  OJets will focus on owned aircraft charter with Elit’Avia dedicated to managing aircraft for owners.

Phil Mulacek, the majority shareholder and chairman of OJets, has taken over the management of OJets. Mulacek, the founder and former chairman of InterOil Corporation, is an experienced business-jet owner. OJets says that he has successfully built other business with complex operations.

“The economics of Elit’Avia did not meet our final investment criteria for further investment. However – we are in agreement to assist Elit’Avia in the managed aircraft side to help Elit’Avia and OJets achieve what we feel is a proper investment return,” said Mulacek. “We will manage our charter investment directly. We built a $5.6 billion business as sole owners and are confident we can manage the $300 million aircraft enterprise to the growth we target.”

Majority ownership of Elit’Avia will stay with founder and co-owner Michel Coulomb and Houseman, the other co-owner. Puja Mahajan will continue to manage Elit’Avia’s day-to-day operations as CEO.

The management changes come as OJets is negotiating buying an American air carrier’s operating certificate. OJets had been planning to add four aircraft this month. In May it said that it was operating two Bombardier Global 6000s and one Bombardier Challenger 650.

Mark Thibault, who was brought in to manage charter operations at OJets has left the company.

Geoffrey Cassidy, the co-founder of Zetta Jet, told Corporate Jet Investor that he is an adviser to Mulacek.

Updated late June 22 with comments from Phil Mulacek and clarification about OJets stake in Elit’Avia. Updated again to confirm that Mark Thibault has left the company.