Indigo Partners and three of its airlines will acquire 50 of the new Airbus A321XLR long-range, single-aisle jetliners. The Memorandum of Understanding includes new orders for 32 A321XLRs and the conversion of 18 existing A320neo family orders.
Indigo Partners LLC, based in Phoenix, Arizona, is a private equity fund focused on worldwide investments in air transportation. Indigo has major ownership stakes in four low-cost airlines, including Frontier Airlines (U.S.), JetSMART (Chile), Volaris (Mexico) and Wizz Air (Hungary). The four carriers now operate a combined 295 Airbus planes and, with the new commitments, have 636 on order.
Twenty of the A321XLRs will be allocated to Wizz Air, 18 to Frontier, and 12 to JetSMART.
Airbus announced the launch of the A321XLR at the Paris Air Show. Derived from the A321neo, the A321XLR is the longest-range single-aisle commercial jetliner ever, capable of flying routes up to 4,700nm with unbeatable fuel efficiency. With a range previously found only in twin-aisle aircraft, A321XLR will enable airlines to exploit new route opportunities with low operating costs, reduced environmental impact, and provide passengers with a comfortable travel experience.
An investor group led by Tim Morgan, has announced that it will launch a Canadian ultra-low-cost-carrier (ULCC) service in 2019, bringing affordable, low-cost air travel to millions of Canadians by this time next year.
Backed by significant financial commitments from a consortium of Canadian investors and Indigo Partners, LLC, a leading private equity firm specializing in the aviation industry, Enerjet, a licensed Canadian carrier, will be rebranded, expanded and transformed into an affordable air-travel choice for Canadian travelers. This Canadian ULCC will offer a simple, ultra-low-cost fare structure and an extensive network of destinations across Canada and into the US. Terms of the transaction, which closed today, were not disclosed.
As a co-founder, former director and former chief operating officer at WestJet, Canada’s second-largest airline, Mr. Morgan has deep expertise and experience in the Canadian aviation market and is well-respected by aviation professionals, industry partners, and regulators.
About Enerjet Enerjet is a licensed Canadian charter airline based in Calgary that commenced operations with Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft in November of 2008.
About the Investor Group The investor group is led by a consortium of established Canadian investors. In addition to Tim Morgan, the consortium includes TorQuest Partners, one of Canada’s leading mid-market private equity firms, Claridge Inc. and Stephenson Management Inc.
About Indigo Indigo is the world’s leading investor in ULCC’s with a successful track record as the lead investor in Tiger Airways, based in Singapore, and Spirit Airlines, based in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Indigo also maintains lead investments in Wizz Air Holdings, Plc, a ULCC with multiple bases in Central and Eastern Europe; Frontier Airlines, a ULCC based in Denver; Volaris Airlines, a ULCC based in Mexico City; and JetSMART, a ULCC based in Chile. Indigo is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona.
Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): Enerjet Boeing 737-7BD WL C-GBEJ (msn 34480) YYZ (TMK Photography). Image: 905048.
Indigo Partners and Wow Air initiated diligence meetings this week in Reykjavik as the initial steps to a potential Indigo investment after the signing of a term sheet last week. A team from Indigo Partners spent the last two days with Wow Air management to review the business and opportunities of the airline going forward.
The overall process is progressing and both parties are working to finalize the investment.
Issues remaining include Wow’s planned network development, vendor contracts including aircraft leases and certain waivers from Wow’s bondholders.
“We are very pleased with the visit from Indigo Partners and it’s clear that we can learn a lot from Bill Franke and his team on how to build a successful low cost airline. I don’t think we can find a better and more experienced partner to bring WOW air to the next level,” said Skuli Mogensen, CEO and founder of WOW air.
Wow is advised in this transaction by Plane View Partners LLC, the U.S. air transportation advisory firm.
About Indigo Partners
Indigo Partners is a private equity firm established by W. A. Franke in 2003 to pursue acquisitions and strategic investments in the air transportation and related industries. The firm was a lead investor in Tiger Airways based in Singapore and Spirit Airlines based in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and maintains lead investments in Wizz Air Holdings, Plc, a ULCC with multiple bases in Central and Eastern Europe; Frontier Airlines, a ULCC based in Denver; Volaris Airlines, a ULCC based in Mexico City; and JetSMART, a ULCC based in Chile. Indigo is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona.
Top Copyright Photo: Wow Air Airbus A330-343 TF-GAY (msn 1098) CDG (Jacques Guillem). Image: 944647.
Indigo Partners LLC and Wow air, the Icelandic airline based in Keflavik (Reykjavik), have agreed in principle for Indigo to invest in Wow. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Following successful completion of due diligence, the parties would work to close as soon as practicable. Wow’s CEO and primary shareholder, Skuli Mogensen, would remain a principal investor in Wow upon completion of the transaction.
Wow is advised in this transaction by Plane View Partners LLC, the U.S. air transportation advisory firm.
This announcement comes after Icelandair decided to drop its bid to acquire its competitor.
When complete, Wow Air will join the Indigo Partners group of airlines (pictured).
Airbus has announced that it had finalized agreements with Indigo Partners and its four portfolio airlines for the purchase of 430 additional A320neo Family aircraft for ultra-low-cost airlines Frontier Airlines (United States), JetSMART (Chile), Volaris (Mexico) and Wizz Air (Hungary).
The signed purchase agreement follows a Memorandum of Understanding among the parties announced at the Dubai Air Show last month.
The 430-aircraft order is made up of 274 A320neos and 156 A321neos worth $49.5 billion at list prices.
Airlines in the Indigo Partners family had previous placed orders for a total of 427 A320 Family aircraft.
Airbus, Indigo Partners’ four portfolio airlines have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the purchase by the four airlines of 430 additional A320neo Family aircraft. The aircraft will be allocated among the ultra low-cost airlines Frontier Airlines (United States), JetSMART (Chile), Volaris (Mexico) and Wizz Air (Hungary) upon the completion of final purchase agreements between Airbus and the four airlines.
The 430-aircraft commitment, comprised of 273 A320neos and 157 A321neos worth $49.5 billion at list prices, was announced at the Dubai Airshow by Bill Franke, Managing Partner of Indigo Partners, and John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers, Airbus Commercial Aircraft. When added to existing Airbus A320 Family orders, the new agreement will make Indigo Partners one of the largest customers by order number in the world for the Airbus single-aisle aircraft family. Airlines in the Indigo Partners family previously have placed orders for 427 A320 Family aircraft.
Also present at the announcement were Enrique Beltranena, CEO of Volaris; Barry Biffle, CEO of Frontier Airlines; Estuardo Ortiz, CEO of JetSMART; and József Váradi, CEO of Wizz Air. They confirmed their firm’s individual aircraft orders as follows:
Wizz – 72 A320neo, 74 A321neo
Frontier – 100 A320neo, 34 A321neo
JetSMART – 56 A320neo, 14 A321neo
Volaris – 46 A320neo, 34 A321neo
Indigo Partners’ Bill Franke indicated that engine selections will be made and announced at a later date.
The A320neo Family incorporates the very latest technologies, including new generation engines and Sharklet wing-tip devices, which together will deliver 20 percent fuel savings by 2020. With more than 5,200 orders received from 95 customers since its launch in 2010, the A320neo Family has captured nearly 60 percent market share.
Indigo Partners LLC, based in Phoenix, Arizona, is a private equity fund focused on worldwide investments in air transportation.
In conjunction with this announcement, Frontier Airlines issued this statement:
Frontier Airlines on November 15, 2017 announced its intent to order 134 A320neo Family aircraft from Airbus, which will triple the size of the low-cost carrier over the next 10 years. Valued at a list price of more than $15 billion, this announcement grows Frontier’s order book to more than 200 aircraft and means more than five thousand new, highly skilled jobs for the U.S. These aircraft are part of the single largest Airbus order announcement ever made – a 430 aircraft order valued at a $49.5 billion list price by Indigo Partners, Frontier’s owner.
This new 134 aircraft order is comprised of 100 A320neo and 34 A321neo aircraft. The A321neo will be a new compliment to the carrier’s existing fuel-efficient A321 family fleet. The addition of these aircraft to the fleet will allow Frontier to grow in new and existing markets, provide even more compelling low fares, further improve the carrier’s already industry-leading fuel efficiency and maintain the company’s status of having one of the youngest and most modern fleets in the U.S. The 134 aircraft order announced today will be delivered between 2021 and 2026.
In addition, in 2018 Frontier will start taking delivery of aircraft from Airbus’ U.S.-based Mobile, Ala. production facility.
Additionally, Frontier has also converted its remaining 18 A319neo orders to the A320neo aircraft. The airline currently has 67 A320neo aircraft on order.
This new order will allow Frontier to continue its focus on achieving the lowest costs in the U.S. airline industry and utilizing these savings to lower fares. Earlier this year, Frontier announced a network expansion that makes the carrier’s low fares accessible to 90 percent of Americans.
Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) as of yesterday (December 3) is now owned by Indigo Partners through an affiliate. Indigo Partners issued this statement:
Indigo Partners has announced that, through an affiliate, it has completed the acquisition of Frontier Airlines from Republic Airways Holdings on December 3, 2013. Final terms of the transaction, which was first announced on October 1, 2013, are not being disclosed.
Indigo Partners and its principals, led by managing partner William A. Franke, have considerable experience in successful, airline-related investments.
“Today is an exciting day for Frontier Airlines and Indigo Partners, as we can now embark on a new chapter in Frontier’s history of providing safe, reliable and fairly priced air service,” said Franke. “As air travel costs have moved higher, demand has grown for more affordable options and more choices. One key element to Frontier’s future success will be operating as an ultra low cost carrier that offers low fares. This model, coupled with the Frontier touch, will ensure opportunities for the Frontier team, and provide safe and reliable ULCC air service to our communities and beyond as we grow Frontier under this vision.”
Frontier will remain headquartered in Denver, Colorado.
David Siegel, CEO and President of Frontier Airlines, resigned from Republic’s Board of Directors.
Indigo Partners is a private equity firm established by W. A. Franke in 2003 to pursue acquisitions and strategic investments in the air transportation and related industries. The firm was a significant investor in Tiger Airways based in Singapore and Spirit Airlines based in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and maintains lead investments in Wizz Air Holdings, Plc, a ULCC with multiple bases in Central and Eastern Europe and Volaris Airlines, a ULCC based in Mexico City. Indigo Partners is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona.
Republic Airways Holdings, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is an airline holding company that owns Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines and Shuttle America. The airlines operate a combined fleet of more than 250 aircraft and offer scheduled passenger service on over 1,300 flights daily to more than 110 cities in the U.S., Canada and the Bahamas through fixed-fee flights operated under airline partner brands, including American Eagle, Delta Connection, United Express, and US Airways Express. The airlines currently employ approximately 6,000 aviation professionals.
Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin/AirlinersGallery.com. Indigo Partners is likely to keep the popular animals on the tails which plays well on their TV advertisements in the main Frontier markets, giving names to the talking tails. However the new very bold FLYFRONTIER.COM titles as displayed on Airbus A320-214 N220FR (msn 5661) with Sharklets may not survive. It will be interesting to watch for any changes to the current Frontier strategy by these low-fare airline investment fund people.
Republic Airways Holdings Inc. (Indianapolis) today (October 1) announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) to an affiliate of Indigo Partners LLC (Phoenix) in an all-cash transaction.
Indigo Partners and its principals, led by managing partner William A. Franke, have a history of investing in airline transportation and related industries and creating successful, differentiated companies. Under the terms of the stock purchase agreement, which has been approved by Republic’s Board of Directors, the buyer, an affiliate of Indigo Partners, will acquire all the outstanding shares of Frontier Airlines Holdings, Inc. in a transaction valued at approximately $145 million, of which $36 million (subject to certain adjustments under the purchase agreement) is to be paid in cash for the equity of Frontier Holdings and the balance is indebtedness that will be retained by Frontier. In addition, Indigo plans to invest additional funds directly in Frontier after the closing.
As part of the transaction, under a separate agreement, Republic will assign to Frontier all of Republic’s rights under agreements relating to the Republic’s Airbus A320neo order in exchange for reimbursement of pre-delivery deposits, which total $32 million.
“We endorse and will support continued efforts to build Frontier into a leading nationwide ultra-low cost carrier (ULCC),” said Franke. “As airline fares continue to move up, passengers need affordable travel alternatives. Our goal will be to meet that need in more markets as we invest in the airline to grow its footprint, while maintaining a commitment to quality service, customer choice and satisfaction and continued employment opportunities for the Frontier team.”
Completion of the transaction is conditioned on agreements being reached with the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) and FAPA Invest LLC by no later than October 31, 2013, as well as agreement and documentation of other third-party commercial agreements. The transaction is also subject to receipt of required approvals by the Federal Communications Commission for the transfer of Frontier’s radio licenses, the receipt of certain third-party consents and releases and other customary closing conditions.
Assuming satisfaction of the conditions of the agreement, Republic expects the transaction to close in December 2013.
Barclays is serving as financial advisor and Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP is serving as legal advisor to Republic in connection with the transaction. Latham & Watkins LLP is serving as Indigo Partners LLC’s legal advisor.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Frontier’s Airbus A320-214 N208FR (msn 4562) with the Cougar on the tail prepares to land at Baltimore/Washington.
Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) has issued this statement about the shares owned by Indigo Partners:
Spirit Airlines, Inc. has announced the public offering of 12,070,920 shares of common stock by certain existing stockholders affiliated with Indigo Partners LLC. Upon completion of the offering, investment funds affiliated with Indigo will no longer own shares of common stock of Spirit Airlines. The company will not receive any proceeds from this offering. Barclays is acting as the sole underwriter for the offering.
The shares of common stock are being offered pursuant to the Company’s existing shelf registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on July 31, 2012.
In connection with the offering, the Company also announced that William A. Franke and John R. Wilson have informed the Company that upon completion of the offering, they expect to resign as directors at the next board meeting, presently scheduled for August 7, 2013. Upon Mr. Franke’s resignation, the Company’s board intends to elect Mr. H. McIntyre Gardner, a director since 2010, as Chairman of the Board.
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N617NK (msn 5387) prepares to touch down at Baltimore/Washington.