Canada Jetlines Ltd. (TSX-V: JET) (the “Company” or “Jetlines”) today announces that Mr. Lukas Johnson will be appointed as Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Mr. Stan Gadek. Mr. Gadek will continue as Chief Executive Officer during a transition period and Mr. Johnson will officially commence his role with the Company on June 18, 2018.
Mr. Johnson has held progressively senior roles over an eight-year span with Allegiant Travel Company (“Allegiant”), a leading ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC) in the United States, most recently as Senior Vice President, Commercial. Mr. Johnson has extensive commercial expertise in network planning, revenue management, operations research, corporate strategy, ecommerce and operations.
Under Mr. Johnson’s leadership, Allegiant had the fastest expanding network in North America, as it grew to over 400 routes and 120 airports served. He helped guide Allegiant to the highest operating margins in the world of any airline in both 2015 (29.4%) and 2016 (27.2%). Over his tenure, annual revenue per plane increased over 30% and total operating revenues grew to over $1.5 billion. His strategic vision and long-term planning helped transform the company by entering mid-size markets, adding eleven new focus city destinations, and growing East Coast capacity by over 500%.
Prior to Allegiant, Mr. Johnson worked for Milliman Inc. and Transamerica in the actuarial field. Mr. Johnson earned a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Northwestern University.
Lukas Johnson stated, “I’m excited to join Jetlines at this pivotal point in the Company’s history, and I have confidence in the team's ability to become the first successful ultra-low-cost carrier in Canada. Based on my experience and deep knowledge of the Canadian market, there is a significant opportunity for us here and I look forward to leading the team to success.”
“We warmly welcome Lukas to our management team. This marks an important milestone in the buildout of Jetlines and their extensive industry and leadership experience will aid in the acceleration of the Company’s strategy of becoming Canada’s first true ultra low-cost carrier”, stated Mark Morabito, Executive Chairman of Canada Jetlines.
Mark Morabito added, “On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Mr. Gadek for his time and contributions. During his tenure, Jetlines added several key board and management appointments, announced three airports, added key operations personnel progressed negotiations with major aircraft lessors, and advanced the licensing and financing process for the Company”.
Stan Gadek commented, “As I return to my consulting practice, I look forward to the new management team taking Jetlines to the next level. I want to thank Chairman Morabito, the board of directors, and the Jetlines team for their hard work and dedication over the past year.”
Mr. Johnson will also be making a $700,000 investment into the Company’s subsidiary, Canada Jetlines Operations Ltd. (“CJL Operations”). Mr. Johnson will acquire, through a newly created subordinate class of shares of CJL Operations (the “Subordinate Shares”), a 5% equity interest in CJL Operations. The Subordinate Shares will have limited rights and will be subject to certain restrictions, including a two-year restriction on transfer. At the end of the two-year transfer restriction, the shares will be redeemable by either the Company or Mr. Johnson for a payment by the Company, with the amount of the payment to be determined by a formula based on the market capitalization of the Company at the time, with such payment to be made by the Company in cash or, subject to the approval of the TSX Venture Exchange, in shares of the Company.