Cartesian Capital led a US$75m investment in Argentinian low-cost airline, Flybondi. Yamasa Co. Limited, Michael Cawley and Michael Powell also participated in the investment.
(Reuters) Cartesian Capital Group LLC is lead investor, alongside Yamasa Co. Limited; other prominent investors include Michael Cawley and Michael Powell, former executives of Ryanair and Wizz Air respectively; Flybondi is set to start operations in Argentina in the fourth quarter of 2017.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina, July 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Flybondi, Argentina´s first Ultra Low Cost Airline, has completed an investment round of USD 75 million with major investors from the aviation industry. The company expects to transport 10 million passengers in 5 years and double the air travel market in Argentina. Among the highly-experienced groups and executives investing in Flybondi are Cartesian Capital Group LLC, Yamasa Co. Limited, Michael Cawley (former COO at Ryanair Holdings Plc), Michael Powell (former CFO at Wizz Air Holdings Plc), as well as other European and Argentinian private investors.
Julian Cook, former CEO of Swiss airline Flybaboo, is the CEO of Flybondi. Alongside him are Michael Cawley and Michael Powell, who have roles both as members of the Board of Directors and as investors. All three bring decades of experience and successful track records in the ULCC sector.
Peter Yu, Managing Partner of Cartesian Capital Group, said: “Powell, Cawley and Cook are uniquely positioned to lead Flybondi”. He added: “The businesses they have built over the decades have greatly improved access for the traveling public around the world, and they are now bringing this model to Argentina. The market for air travel in the country is ripe for Flybondi and we will work closely with labor and consumer groups, regulators, and other stakeholders to provide reliable, high-quality service to all Argentines”. In the past, Yu served as a director at the Brazilian low cost carrier Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes S.A, a company in which the Cartesian Group team led the initial institutional investment in 2002.
Bertrand Grabowski, representing Yamasa on the board of Flybondi, and former head of DVB’s aircraft finance division, said: “Having followed for more than twenty-five years the development of ULCC brands all over the world, I am convinced it is the perfect time and place to bring the ULCC concept to a great country like Argentina for the benefit of the people”. And added: “The management team is top-class and brings a wealth of international experience. The new Macri policy is sending positive signals to the international community”.
Flybondi has already signed lease agreements for two Boeing 737-800, and expects to be operating fleet of 10 aircraft by the end of 2018. Flybondi has signed an agreement with the Government of the Province of Córdoba to set-up its first base and start operations there in the fourth quarter of 2017. It has also presented a plan to the National Government to set up what will become its main base at the military airport of El Palomar in Buenos Aires.