Convinced of the growth and development potential of Corsair, a French airline specialised in international long-haul flights, the private German aviation firm INTRO Aviation has acquired the airline to become the majority shareholder alongside the TUI Group.

The sale of 100% of shares in Corsair held by TUI France to the Irish company Diamondale has been signed on March 15th. The share capital of Diamondale is held as follows: 53% INTRO Aviation, 27% TUI Group, and 20% reserved for Corsair employees through a Foundation (“Stichting”).

At the end of an information and consultation process during which extremely positive and constructive exchanges occurred with the company’s trade unions, the Works Council delivered a positive opinion on 7 February 2019. This positive opinion remains exceptional for this type of operation. Corsair employees also expressed their full support to the plan.

A sustainable growth strategy with a single-model fleet of 13 aircraft in 2023

Corsair is entering a new development phase with the arrival of a new shareholder that has an ambitious medium term growth plan for the company.

The fleet will be increased to 13 aircraft until 2023, i.e. 6 additional aircraft. Each of the three B747 will be replaced by 2 Airbus.

Three Airbus A330-900 NEO have already been ordered March 15th 2019 and will join the fleet by 2021. Three other Airbus will replace the B747.

Lastly, three new aircraft will be added between 2021 and 2023.

This shift to a modernised and unique all-Airbus fleet will improve the quality of the product with new cabins, notably simplify the airline’s operations and result in significantly reduced operating costs and synergies.

This new fleet will enable Corsair to consolidate its already existing assets:

  • a brand with strong awareness that INTRO Aviation intends to capitalise on,
  • a tri-class positioning: this configuration will be retained in the new fleet, following the successful launch of the Business class in 2017. The airline will strive to offer more services through a new product and new cabins. The customer experience on the ground and during the flight will be enhanced in order to improve passenger satisfaction in Business, Premium and Economy Class, at each step of the customer journey (airport, check-in, entertainment and on-board comfort and food services),
  • a single base at Orly. The growth potential at this popular and easy-to-access airport remains high given the existing slot portfolio while the modernisation works in progress will significantly improve the quality of the customer journey.

This plan will also allow Corsair to take advantage of a more productive and high-quality flight schedule, to expand its network by opening new destinations that are currently under review while concentrating on existing high-volume traffic destinations.

Employees involved in Governance with highly favourable social guarantees

This innovative aspect of the project will allow the airline’s employees to hold 20% of Corsair’s share capital through a Foundation (“Stichting”), which is an exceptional stake-holding rate within an airline.

As a matter of fact, one of the four Directors will represent employees on the Diamondale Board of Directors, in addition to a Director on the Corsair Board of Directors.

The Foundation (“Stichting”) will thus access detailed information on the plans presented at the Board of Directors, and will be able to contribute to the company’s management and strategic planning.

In addition to this involvement of the staff, INTRO Aviation has committed to a certain number of highly advantageous guarantees for Corsair employees over a 2-year period ( in regards to retention of staff, wages, current collective agreements and no staff transfers).

All of these guarantees will definitely contribute to develop employee engagement, a results-based culture and empowerment of teams thanks to their involvement in the company’s strategic projects.

Finally, INTRO Aviation and the TUI Group have committed to remain shareholders for a minimum of 3 years.

A highly positive change of shareholder for Corsair

Corsair will benefit from the expertise of the INTRO Aviation team and a more agile and responsive environment that will accelerate and simplify the decision-making process. At the same time, by remaining shareholder, TUI is demonstrating its strong confidence in the INTRO Aviation project and its commitment to remain involved in and concerned with the company’s success.

All members of the Executive Committee alongside Pascal de Izaguirre will remain in place and will then ensure the management continuity as well as the development of the company.

Thanks to this ambitious growth plan, the airline will continue to expand in order to strengthen its role in the market.

Pascal de Izaguirre, CEO of Corsair, gave the following statement: “Corsair is entering a new development phase. The implementation of a refleeting project leading to 13 aircrafts will allow us to achieve critical size in order to consolidate our position as a significant player in the long-haul market. I am very confident in the success of our future collaboration with the INTRO Aviation teams, with the support of the company’s staff and their unfailing commitment.”

Peter Oncken, Managing Director of INTRO Aviation, said: “Corsair is a company with a great many assets. I have full trust in its potential. The replacement of the B747 and the shift to a single-model fleet will be crucial for Corsair’s future. By combining the expertise of the INTRO Aviation team and the professionalism of those at Corsair, we have all of the skills required to find ways of improvement that will ensure the company’s future and development.”