Sterling Airways acquires its Part 121 AOC, formerly Via Air

Sterling Airways (Jacksonville, FL), formerly Via Airlines, has made this announcement:

Sterling Airways, a Wexford Capital LP portfolio company, is pleased to announce that it has received its Part 121 certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and authorization to resume scheduled passenger service from the Department of Transportation (DOT).

The new airline, currently based in Jacksonville, Florida, is led by Chief Executive Officer Wayne Heller, former Chief Operating Officer of Republic Airways, along with several former members of Heller’s management team that led Republic’s initial growth of 24 to 30 airplanes a year.

“While Sterling has been certified as an ERJ 145 operator, we’re very much a blank canvas that can move quickly to meet the needs of potential partners and markets crippled in the wake of COVID-19”, said Heller.

Sterling’s platform is designed to be the most flexible in the industry, allowing for additional aircraft types to be added to its certificate and operations that can be based anywhere in the U.S. For communities affected by the pandemic this presents an option to quickly restore air service.

“Although the pandemic has challenged the airline industry, we believe that quality air services will continue to be highly desired and vital for the transportation of people and goods throughout the U.S.,” said Heller. “With a cost structure second to none, we aspire to set a new standard in aviation by delivering a culture rich in safety, customer service and professionalism to our passengers, partners and associates.”

Wexford Capital LP previously announced that it and certain affiliates received bankruptcy court approval to reorganize and acquire Via Airlines, Inc., a FAA Part 121 regional airline based in Maitland, FL. The transaction allowed Via, which was rebranded as Sterling Airways, to restart domestic operations, once approved by the DOT and recertified by the FAA.