Chorus Aviation Inc. ('Chorus') (TSX: CHR) announced today that Chorus Aviation Capital ('CAC') has entered into a purchase agreement to acquire five, mid-life Bombardier Q400 aircraft currently on lease with Europe's largest independent regional airline, Flybe. This transaction is expected to close by this summer and is subject to customary conditions precedent to closing, such as the novation of the existing leases, as well as the receipt of all regulatory approvals or consents required in connection with the acquisition of Flybe by Connect Airways Limited. With these acquisitions, Chorus Aviation Capital has announced 50 commitments to date for its regional aircraft leasing business.
"We are very pleased to expand our relationship with our existing customer, Flybe," said Steve Ridolfi, President, Chorus Aviation Capital. "In less than two years we've grown our leasing portfolio to 50 aircraft acquired at approximately US $995.0 million with US $765.0 million in future contract lease revenue."
"In addition to growing CAC's lease portfolio, these mid-life aircraft play to the Chorus group's strengths as a diversified provider of regional aviation services," commented Joe Randell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chorus. "At the end of the lease term, Chorus will have multiple potential uses for these aircraft, including lease extensions, re-leases or sale to new operators, conversions to non-passenger use, or disassembly for parts sales. I applaud the Chorus team for reaching this important milestone and for embracing our vision to become a worldwide provider of integrated regional aviation services."
Upon the completion of this transaction, and seven other aircraft pending delivery to other customers, CAC's portfolio will include 38 turboprops and 12 regional jets placed with 13 airlines on six continents. When combined with the 47 aircraft leased under the Capacity Purchase Agreement with Air Canada, Chorus' fleet of leased aircraft has reached 97 aircraft valued at approximately US $1.6 billion.