Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Neeleman acquires 32% stake in Aigle Azur

Aigle Azur A320
(Photo: Rob Finlayson)

French investment firm Weaving Group has sold its 32% shareholding in French carrier Aigle Azur to Brazilian-American entrepreneur David Neeleman.

“Weaving Group sold its minority shareholding in Aigle Azur to David Gary Neeleman, a specialist in air transport,” Weaving Group confirmed in a statement.

Privately owned Aigle Azur has been running since 1946 and today serves destinations in Algeria, Germany Lebanon, Mali, Portugal, Russia and Senegal. The airline handles around 2 million passengers annually and operates a fleet of Airbus A319s and A320s.

Weaving Group, which was previously known as GoFast, acquired its shareholding in 2001, when Aigle Azur operated just one aircraft.

In 2010, Weaving opened discussions to sell part of its stake in Aigle Azur, leading to Chinese conglomerate HNA Group buying into the airline in 2012. HNA Group currently owns 48% of Aigle Azur, with the remaining 20% held by LU Azur.

Weaving president Meziane Idjerouidene said the 16-year shareholding had been a success, but the group was looking to dispose of the shares to a new shareholder who is familiar with the industry and could “write a new page” in Aigle Azur’s history. “These conditions are now met,” he said.

Neeleman, a known figure in the airline industry, has founded a number of airlines, including Westjet, JetBlue and Azul.

Aigle Azur recently named serial airline entrepreneur Frantz Yvelin as president and CEO, the executive who founded all-business airline L’Avion that was ultimately sold to British Airways.

(Victoria Moores - ATWOnline News)

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