The investment will see AIP Capital inject capital in a VIG fund for the Eastar Jet investment with the new MAX placements allowing the airline to launch international routes.

SEOUL, DUBLIN AND STAMFORD, September 5th, 2023  – AIP Capital (“AIP”), a global aviation asset management and investment firm, announces the closing of an LP investment in a VIG Partners (“VIG”) fund which holds a control investment in Korean low-cost carrier, Eastar Jet, and placement of five new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. Two aircraft delivered to Eastar Jet in August with one more scheduled for September and a final two in Q3 2024. This investment and aircraft placement follows the recent joint-venture announcement with Dreamstone Aviation Partners.

Established in 2007, Eastar Jet is a low-cost airline based in Seoul, South Korea. The airline is currently flying three daily flights between Gimpo International Airport (GMP) in Seoul and Jeju International Airport (CJU). Eastar Jet was recently acquired by the South Korean-based private equity fund VIG Partners which will see the airline expand its scale and presence in the region. AIP’s 737 MAX 8 aircraft will form the core of the international network and fly from Seoul (GMP and ICN) to Tokyo, Osaka, Bangkok, and Taipei initially.

Jared Ailstock, Managing Partner of AIP commented, “We are pleased to be a first mover with Eastar Jet immediately following the acquisition by VIG Partners. AIP’s commitment of five 737 MAX aircraft and concurrent financial investment was key in Eastar continuing as a Boeing operator as they seek to grow the airline. We are grateful for the trust placed in AIP by both the Eastar management team and VIG Partners and look forward to growing our partnership in the region.”

Changhoon Shin, Managing Partner of VIG Partners commented, ““We are pleased to establish and build our relationship with AIP through this large transaction. Five aircrafts for EastarJet will be the foundation of the airline’s network and allow us to initiate substantial growth with the operational efficiency of the Boeng 737 MAX.”

Gibson Dunn acted as legal advisor to AIP in the U.S. with Kim & Chang advising in Korea. PwC provided tax advice.