Volotea (Venice) on March 21 took delivery of its second Boeing 717, the pictured 717-2BL registered as EC-LQI (msn 55167, ex N408BC). The airliner arrived at Palma de Mallorca two days later where it is pictured today. The former Midwest Airlines airframe was painted at Cecil Field in Jacksonville with a different tail design.
Volotea bills itself as “the airline for Europe’s small and mid-sized cities”. The new airline will start operating from Venice Marco Polo Airport on April 5. Volotea will initially serve five domestic destinations (Brindisi, Cagliari, Olbia, Palermo, and Reggio Calabria) and nine international destinations (Alicante, Bilbao, Bordeaux, Budapest, Krakow, Malaga, Porto, Thessaloniki, and Santiago de Compostela).
During the summertime the number of routes will grow to 24, and Volotea will thus become Marco Polo’s largest carrier in terms of destinations served. Operationally, weekly flights will grow from 90 a week in April (arrivals + departures) to 160 in August, while the amount of seats on offer will increase from 11.250 to 20.000 over the same period.
Volotea focuses on point-to-point services between Europe’s small and mid-sized cities which are either subject to high fares or do not have direct flights between them. New routes will start at €19 each way, all included.
In addition to the founders and top managers, the new airline boasts three private equity funds (two of them from Europe and the third one from the United States). The equity funds have committed substantial and adequate funding for the launch of Volotea:
CCMP Capital Advisors, A leading private equity firm specializing in upper-middle market buyouts and growth equity investments in the U.S. and Europe, with offices in New York, London and Houston, CCMP Capital was formed in 2006 by the former buyout and growth equity investment professionals of J.P. Morgan Partners, LLC (a private equity division of JPMorgan Chase & Co). The founders of CCMP Capital have invested over $13bn since 1984.
FESpyme, Fondo de Capital Riesgo, managed by Axis Participaciones Empresariales, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Spain’s Instituto de Crédito Oficial. Having invested €250m in over 130 operations since 1986, Madrid-based Axis is the oldest venture capital operator in Spain.
Sinaer Inversiones, an aviation-investment vehicle partly owned by Corpfin Capital, an independent private equity firm which focuses on Spanish growth companies. Madrid-based Corpfin was founded in 1990 and currently manages assets worth €400m.
Copyright Photo: Javier Rodriguez.
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