China-based Shandong Airlines was recently awarded a temporary restraining order against a Florida flight training school in an international contract dispute. The airline had engaged CAPT, LLC, a school owned by Flight Training Services International (FTSI), to provide flight training to 24 of its Chinese pilot cadets over 52-weeks at the school’s Florida facilities. According to the airline’s Complaint, CAPT had sent a letter to Shandong in March 2009 stating it considered the contracts “to be null and void” and requesting that additional training money be paid to it would withdraw sponsorship of all Shandong student visas.
Legal representatives for the airline, Diaz Reus LLP argued that Shandong Airlines had met all terms of the contract and successfully applied for a temporary restraining order to prevent CAPT from unilaterally terminating its contract, withdrawing sponsorship of the cadets and selling, transferring or otherwise disposing of its training equipment. U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Corrigan granted the temporary restraining order on the school on the basis that Shandong had shown “a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of its complaint for breach of contract”. A hearing has been set in the US District Court on whether to issue a permanent injunction against the school, with the court determining to award a preliminary injunction forbidding the flight school from taking any action that might endanger the students’ immigration status until such time they were able to obtain new visas from a new sponsor.