JET AIRPLANE LEASING COMPANY.
JULY 1997: OPENS USA OFFICE IN FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA.
FEBRUARY 1998: 737-200 (PL746) RETURNED FROM (PTB) AND 737-300
(PQ285) RETURNED FROM GARUDA INDONESIA (GIA).
JUNE 1998: 737-200 (23039), EX-(PTB) LEASED TO WINAIR (WII) WITH (TCAS), WINDSHEAR & NORDAM HUSHKITS. BUYS 2 737-500'S (27153; 27155), EX-BRAATHENS (BRT), LEASED TO XIAMEN AIRLINES (XIA).
SEPTEMBER 1998: BUYS 2 737-400'S (24901; 27704) FROM HAPAG LLOYD (HAP) AND LETTER OF INTENT (LOI) TO LEASE TO ITALIAN TOUR OPERATOR.
OCTOBER 1998: 1 737-300, EX-CHINA SOUTHERN AIRLINES (GUN), 1 A320, EX-CALEDONIAN AIRWAYS (CAW) AND SOLD 1 737-300 TO TRANSBRASIL (TBL). SIGNED FOR 2 737-400'S, EX-HAPAG LLOYD (HAP), 1 737-300, EX-DELTA AIRLINES (DAL) & 1 MD-82, EX-SPANAIR (SPP).
FEBRUARY 1999: 1998 = +$11.1 MILLION (+$7.6 MILLION).
2 737-300QC'S (23809; 23810), EX-L'AEROPOSTALE (FPO) TO UNICAPITAL AIR GROUP.
APRIL 1999: 2 MD-82'S (49931; 49932), LEASED TO RENO AIR (RNO).
MAY 1999: 1 ORDER (JUNE 1999) 757-200 (PW2037) (28486), 18 YEAR LEASE TO (TWA). 1 ORDER (JULY 1999) A320 (CFM56-5B4) (1041), 10 YEAR LEASE TO CHINA NORTHWEST AIRLINES (CNW). 2 737-400'S, EX-BRAATHENS (BRT), LEASED TO VIRGIN EXPRESS (EBA) UNTIL 2004. NOW HAS 37 AIRPLANES ON LEASE TO 24 AIRLINES IN 17 COUNTRIES.
JULY 1999: 2 737-2Y5'S (23040, N118RW), EX-WINAIR (WII), LEASED TO FRONTIER AIRLINES (FRO). (WII) WENT OUT OF BUSINESS.
SEPTEMBER 1999: 737-300 (24698) LEASED TO GO FLY (GFL) & 737-400 LEASED TO VIRGIN EXPRESS (EBA), SOLD TO OASIS INTERNATIONAL LEASING, ABU DHABI (27000).
NOVEMBER 1999: 2ND 737-300, EX-WINAIR (WII) & DEUTSCHE BA (DBA), 65 MONTH LEASED TO FRONTIER AIRLINES (FRO).
DECEMBER 1999: (AERFI) ACQUIRED INDIGO AVIATION (INZ) FOR $40 MILLION. THE MERGED COMPANY HAS A PORTFOLIO OF 104 AIRPLANES.
JUNE 2000: JOHN FENTON PRESIDENT & (COO).
AUGUST 2000: 737-505 (1842-24651, /90 24 25), RETURNED FROM BRAATHENS (BRT), TO BE LEASED TO BRITISH AIRWAYS (BAB) IN NOVEMBER 2000.
SEPTEMBER 2000: (AERFI) GROUP WHICH INCLUDES INDIGO AVIATION (INZ) IS TAKEN OVER FOR $750 MILLION BY DEBIS AIRFINANCE (DEA), WHO ALSO TOOK OVER (AERFI) (AFJ). FOR FUTURE DATA, SEE (AFJ).
FEBRUARY 2001: FORMS JETSCAPE, FLORIDA, TO OFFER AIRPLANE LEASING AND
March 2003: MD-83 (49941, C-FKLI), ex-Reno Air (RNO)/American Airlines (AAL), leased to JetsGo (ROY).
October 2006: Indigo Partners (INZ) said it has acquired 49% of Indonesia's Mandala Airlines (MND) from PT Cardig International Aviation (PTC), which purchased the carrier in April and will retain a 51% holding. "The parties recently received the necessary regulatory approvals and closed the investment," said Phoenix-based private equity firm Indigo (INZ) in a statement. Indigo (INZ), which was founded by former America West (AMW) Chairman & (CEO), William Franke, also holds 24% of Tiger Airways (TGR). (MND), established in 1969, operates a fleet of 12 airplanes serving 23 domestic destinations in Indonesia. "Cardig (PTC) and (INZ)/(DEA) are committed to the growth of (MND) and will undertake a strategy of expanding air travel opportunities for Indonesians with low fares, modern Airbus (EDS) airplanes and a strong commitment to safety," (INZ) said. The carrier currently only operates Boeing (TBC) types.
October 2011: Sky Express (SEX), Russia’s 1st low-cost carrier (LCC), will lose its air operator’s certificate (AOC) and operate under a new single (AOC) with Russian regional carrier Kuban Airlines (KIL).
Alexander Neradko, the head of Rosaviatsia (Russia’s Department of Aviation/Ministry of Transport) announced the (AOC) changes as part of the consolidation process between Sky Express (SEX) and Kuban (KIL), which is based at Krasnodar International Airport in Southern Russia.
The owner of Kuban (KIL), Russian investment company Basic Element, announced its intent to buy Sky Express (SEX) in 2010.
The new combined airline will operate under the better-known, Sky Express (SEX) brand, but it is not clear if it will remain an (LCC).
Sky Express (SEX) was launched in 2007 by a group of foreign investors, including the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development and Altima Capital. It started operations with 2 737-300s operating several domestic routes and offered a promotional fare of 500 rubles/$18. Later, however, (SEX) was forced to enter the charter market because it could not sustain the (LCC) business model in Russia. In 2010, it carried 1.66 million passengers.
On October 11, the Department of Aviation suspended the (AOC) of a second Russian (LCC) (Avianova (ANV)). Avianova (ANV) started flights in August 2009, but investors American Indigo Partners (INZ) and Russian A1 stopped funding. (ANV) ceased selling tickets on October 3 and made its last flight on October 9. Avianova (ANV) carried 1.54 million passengers in 2010.
August 2013: Spirit Airlines (SPR)’s board of directors has elected H McIntyre Gardner as Chairman after William Franke of Indigo Partners resigned. Indigo Partners (INZ)’s John Wilson has also resigned.
October 2013: Republic Airways Holdings will sell its low-cost carrier (LCC) Frontier Airlines (FRO) to an affiliate of Indigo Partners (INZ) for $36 million in cash plus $109 million in debt, following months of speculation that Indigo (INZ) would be the buyer.
Under the all-cash transaction, Indigo (INZ)'s affiliate will acquire all the outstanding shares of Frontier (FRO). (INZ) will pay $36 million in cash for (FRO)'s equity and the balance will be debt retained by Frontier (FRO). Indigo (IGO), the former majority shareholder of Spirit Airlines (SPR), will invest additional funds in (FRO) after the deal closes.
Indigo Partners (ING) is led by former Spirit Airlines (SPR) Chairman, Bill Franke. Franke was chairman of (SPR) from 2006 through earlier this year, when he sold his shares in (SPR). He has indicated he will bring the ultra-(LCC) business model to Frontier (FRO). (FRO) has already moved in that direction.
Republic will assign to (FRO) its rights for its previously announced order for 80 A319/A320neo airplanes, as Republic had earlier indicated. In exchange, Republic will be reimbursed $32 million of pre-delivery deposits. “This transaction is a direct result of (FRO)’s successful restructuring, continued cost reduction efforts and laser focus on revenue generation,” said Republic Airways Chairman, President & (CEO) Bryan Bedford. “I am confident that (FRO) will enjoy future growth as Indigo (INZ) continues the process to position the airline as a leading ultra-low-cost carrier (LCC) in the United States."
Closing of the deal is dependent on agreements being reached with (FFO)'s flight attendants (CA) and pilots (FC) unions by no later than October 31, as well as other 3rd-party commercial agreements. (FRO) expects the deal to close in December 2013 if all conditions are met.
Frontier (FRO)'s sale will conclude years of efforts by Republic to divest (FRO), which it acquired in 2009 for $109 million plus $1 billion in liabilities. Republic began a cost restructuring program at (FRO) in 2011, and rumors began swirling earlier this year that Republic had found a buyer in Indigo (INZ). (INZ) sold its 12.1 million shares in Spirit (SPR) in July.
Republic's Bedford says the carrier remains focused on its fixed-fee flying for USA mainline carriers. "Our airline partner brands, including American Eagle, Delta Connection, United Express and US Airways Express, have a bright future at Republic Airways," he added.
Barclays is serving as financial advisor for the deal, while Hughes Hubbard & Reed is legal advisor to Republic. Latham & Watkins is serving as Indigo (INZ)'s legal advisor.
The Association of Flight Attendants-(CWA) (AFA), which represents attendants (CA) at both Frontier (FRO) and Spirit (SPR), says it is important that flight attendants (CA)’s “contributions be recognized before any sale can be finalized.” “It is important that flight attendants (CA) 1st achieve fair value for the equity and profit-sharing section of our contract,” said (AFA)’s President at (FRO), Kathie Weis. “Frontier (FRO) flight attendants (CA) remain united and are resolute that any agreement must be for the good of the airline and be good for flight attendants (CA)."
December 2013: Indigo Partners (INZ) completed the acquisition of Frontier Airlines (FRO) from Republic Airways Holdings. Final terms of the transaction, which was first announced October 1st, are not being disclosed. Indigo Partners (INZ) is led by Managing Partner, Bill Franke. “One key element to Frontier (FRO)’s future success will be operating as an ultra low cost carrier (ULCC) that offers low fares. This model, coupled with the Frontier (FRO) touch, will ensure opportunities for the (FRO) team, and provide safe and reliable (ULCC) air service to our communities and beyond as we grow (FRO) under this vision,” Franke said.
Frontier (FRO) will remain headquartered in Denver.
Upon closing of the sale, (FRO) (CEO) & President David Siegel resigned from Republic’s board of directors.
Republic Airways Chairman, President & (CEO) Bryan Bedford said, “Republic can now focus its full attention on its core regional jet business and continue to strengthen its relationships with its major airline partners.” Republic Airways Holdings, based in Indianapolis, owns Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines and Shuttle America.
August 2015: Indigo Partners (INZ), the USA-based private equity and venture capital firm behind Wizz Air (WZZ) and Frontier Airlines (FRO), has expressed an interest in (LOT) Polish Airlines with negotiations currently ongoing.
Informed sources who spoke to the "Puls Biznesu" business daily, state airline management has been in talks with Indigo (INZ) and (LOT)'s owner, the Polish Treasury, with Rothschild the facilitator. Should a binding Letter of Intent (LOI) be signed, (INZ) would be prepared to push for a final-offer agreement, the report said.
As (EU) regulations cap foreign ownership of local airlines at 49%, Indigo (INZ) reportedly plans to partner a European fund to assume majority ownership of the airline. Warsaw, which has already passed legislation allowing minority state-ownership in the airline, would remain a minority shareholder initially. It may subsequently exit (LOT) altogether.
In terms of plans, Indigo (INZ) has indicated it would invest "several hundred million zloty" in (LOT) to develop Warsaw Chopin into a Central and Eastern European hub. The move would create thousands of new jobs over the next 5 years.
Though (LOT) has managed to turn its finances around posting a +EUR24 million/+USD27.1 million operating profit for 2014, it has yearned for a strategic investor to help it realize its full potential.
While it has been linked to Lufthansa (DLH), Air Berlin (BER), Turkish Airlines (THY), and Norwegian (NWG) in recent years, none of the purported talks have resulted in any tangible investment. In May, (LOT) (CEO) Sebastian Mikosz said that (LOT) would consider going public should it fail to find a suitable strategic partner.
February 2017: Arizona-based investment firm Indigo Partners (INZ) introduced its new ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC), JetSMART (JSM), on February 3 in Santiago, Chile. Utilizing a fleet of new Airbus A320s, (JSM), the new (ULCC) expects to operate 3 aircraft by the end of the year, and 9 by the end of 2018.
(JSM) submitted its formal request for an air operator’s certificate (AOC) to the Chilean Civil Aviation Authority on January 26.
Indigo Partners (INZ), led by former Spirit Airlines (SPR) Chairman William Franke, has backed the development of several (ULCC)s over the past decade, including USA-based Frontier Airlines (FRO), Hungary’s Wizz Air (WZZ) and Mexico’s Volaris (VLS).
“In Chile [we] believe there is an overlooked customer segment wanting to fly, but for the right price,” Franke said. “Chile is an attractive entry point for the launch of a low-fare carrier, [it has] economic stability and aviation traffic growth; [a] growing economy; [a] supportive and fair regulatory environment; and open skies and strong bilateral treaties with neighboring countries.”
JetSMART (JSM) will be headed by (CEO) Estuardo Ortiz, former Avianca (AVI) Holdings Executive VP & (COO) and (TACA) Airlines (TAC) Executive VP & (COO).
“The [ULCC] model at JetSMART (JSM) will mean lower airfares for all Chileans, which will encourage non-fliers to fly and regular fliers to fly to various points in Chile and beyond,” Ortiz said.
“In Europe, low-cost carriers (LCC) account for 40% of all air travel. In the USA, they represent about 7% and the market share has grown for these companies by +10.3% in the last 3 years. By 2034, (LCC)s are expected to account for 21% of the world market,” Franke said. “We at Indigo (INZ) have spent the last 15 years developing and refining this business model and we believe that the arrival of a similar airline in Chile will be well received.”
January 2018: January 2018: Denver-based Frontier Airlines (FRO) and Mexico City-based Volaris (VLS) have entered into a code share agreement, signaling further cooperation between 2 carriers affiliated with private equity firm Indigo Partners (INZ).
(FRO), which adopted the ultra low cost carrier (LCC) model in 2014, is wholly owned by Indigo Partners (INZ), which is also a major shareholder in publicly traded Volaris (VLS) (generally considered to have the lowest unit costs of any North American airline). In recent months, there has been more talk of cooperation among Indigo Partners (INZ) affiliated airlines.
(INZ) Managing Partner Bill Franke announced a massive order at the Dubai Air Show in November for 430 Airbus A320neo family aircraft to be split among 4 (ULCC)s in which (INZ) has holdings: Frontier (FRO), Volaris (VLS), Chile-based JetSMART (JSM) and Hungary-based Wizz Air (WZZ).
(INZ) has said Frontier (FRO) will get 100 A320neos and 34 A321neos from the order, while Volaris will get 46 A320neos and 34 A321neos.
Prior to the aircraft order, (INZ) had not talked about the airlines in which it has stakes as being connected. The (FRO) - (VLS) code share pact is another instance of Indigo Partners (INZ) carrier speaking publicly about cooperation.
“Volaris (VLS) is an ideal partner with which to align,” (FRO) President & (CEO) Barry Biffle said.
Subject to regulatory approval in the USA and Mexico, code sharing between (FRO) and (VLS) will commence this spring. “Once the code share is in place, passengers will enjoy a seamless low-fare travel experience traveling on (FRO) and (VLS),” the carriers said in a joint statement. “We estimate that our partnership will add around 20 new destinations to our network and 80 new routes between Mexico and the USA,” (VLS) (CEO) Enrique Beltranena said.
The carriers added: “A natural fit between the carriers’ networks already exists with each serving >20 of the same markets. In addition, both carriers fly Airbus A320 aircraft. (FRO) operates a fleet of 78 aircraft with 199 additional aircraft on order and (VLS) operates a fleet of 71 with 128 additional aircraft on order.”
March 2018: IndiGo (INZ) agreed to lease 2 new Airbus A320-200s from Air Lease Corporation (ALE) for delivery in (3Q) 2018.
Click below for photos:
INZ-A320 - JetSMART 2017-02.jpg
7 737-200 (JT8D), LSD OUT.
2 737-2Y5 (JT8D) (965-23040, N118RW), EX-(WII), LST (FRO) 1999-07.
9 737-300 (CFM56-3), LSD OUT.
3 737-400 (CFM56-3) (24901; 27074), EX-(HAP).
1 737-400 (CFM56-3), EX-(BRT), LST (EBA) TIL 2004.
5 737-500 (CFM56-3), LSD OUT.
1 757-200 (PW2037), 18 YR LST (TWA).
3 MD-82, EX-(SPP).
2 MD-82 (49931; 49932), LST (RNO).
1 MD-83 (1793-49941, C-FKLI), LST (ROY) 2003-03.
1 A320 (CFM56-5B4) (1041), EX-(CAW), 10 YR LST 1999-07 (CNW).
3 +6 ORDERS (2019-06) A320-200 (CC511FR) FOR JETSMART (JSM), CHILE OPS.
Click below for photos:
INZ-1-Bill Franke 2018-03.jpg
WILLIAM FRANKE, FOUNDER, MANAGING PARTNER EX-AMERICA WEST (AMW)/SPIRIT AIRLINES (SPR)/WIZZ AIR (WZZ)/VOLARIS (VLS)/JETSMART (JSM). ALSO CHAIRMAN, FRONTIER AIRLINES (FRO).
Bill Franke is the Managing Partner of Indigo Partners LLC, a private equity fund focused on air transportation investments. The fund currently has major investments in Volaris Airlines (VLS) (Mexico), Wizz Air (WZZ) (Hungary) and Frontier Airlines (FRO) (USA). During Bill’s business career he has been the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of a Fortune 500 forest products company, which he re-positioned strategically, tripled its revenues and achieved record profits, before merging it with another company at the industry’s highest per ton valuation; Chairman of the Executive Committee of a large regional bank whose management he restructured; (CEO) of a large USA convenience store company, which he restructured; and, from 1993 to August 2001, (CEO) of America West Airlines (AMW) (now American Airlines (AAL)), which he managed through a bankruptcy into an airline that from 1994 to 2000 had the highest (EBITDAR) margins of the major USA airlines and won 2 "J.D. Power" awards for its service. Bill was Managing Partner of Newbridge Latin America, a private equity fund focused on Latin America, which made investments in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia and Argentina in a variety of businesses including retail, manufacturing and insurance. Newbridge was wound up in 2012 on sale of its last investment. Bill served as the founding Chairman of th Airplanes Group, Ltd., a US$5 billion aircraft finance vehicle created from the aircraft portfolio of the (GPA) Group plc, the Irish aircraft leasing company, and supported by (GE) Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) (GEC). He was involved in the 1998 acquisition of (GPA) (then renamed AerFi Group) by Texas Pacific Group and served on AerFi’s board of directors until it was sold in 2000. Also, along with an investment group led by David Bonderman, Bill was a pre-(IPO) investor in Ryanair (RYR) and a Founder of Hotwire, the travel internet site. Bill was the Founding Chairman of Tiger Airways (TGR) (Singapore), was the Chairman of Spirit Airlines (SPR) (USA), serves as Chairman of Wizz Air Limited (WZZ) (Hungary), is a director of Volaris (VLS) (Mexico), and is the Chairman of Frontier Airlines (FRO) (USA). In addition, he has served on several public company boards of directors in a variety of industries.
Bill was born in Texas and raised in Latin America. He has undergraduate and graduate degrees from Stanford University and was awarded an honorary Ph.D. from Northern Arizona University, whose business college is named after him.
KARL-AXEL GRANLUND, CHAIRMAN.
JOHN EVANS, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO).
JOHN FENTON, PRESIDENT & CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER (COO) (2000-06).
ESTUARDO ORTIZ, (CEO) JETSMART (JSM), EX-(AVI)/(TAC) (2017-02).
MARIO SCHUELER, MANAGING DIRECTOR.
CLAS BERGSTAND, VP TECHNICAL, (firstname.lastname@example.org).