Canada Jetlines Ltd. (JET: TSX-V) (the “Company” or “Jetlines”) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Javier Suarez as Chief Executive Officer of the Company after being promoted from the role of Chief Commercial Officer.
Javier is replacing the Company’s former CEO, Mr. Lukas Johnson. Mr. Johnson recently informed the Company that he will be returning to the United States for personal and family reasons. Prior to his departure, he is showing his support for Jetlines and its new CEO by investing $700,000 into the Company.
Lukas Johnson commented, “While I need to return to the United States at the end of October 2018 for personal and family reasons, I am very supportive of Javier and Jetlines business plan. I understand the need for a true ultra-low cost carrier airline in Canada and that is why I am investing $700,000 into the Company. Javier has a great deal of experience and knowledge, and I have absolute confidence in his ability to successfully step into this role. I will be assisting with continued progression of the launch plans for the next two months to ensure a smooth transition.”
Mr. Javier Suarez has over 15 years of airline experience with expertise in most commercial functions, strategy and operations. Most recently, Javier was Vice President, Network Planning, Revenue Management, E-Commerce with ultra-low cost carrier VivaAerobus. Javier was part of the senior management team that improved profitability from a breakeven in 2014 to becoming the most profitable airline in Mexico in 2017. During his tenure, he was responsible for growing its fleet from 13 to 32 aircraft between 2014 and 2018. He was also part of the team who recently negotiated the purchase of VivaAerobus’ 25 new Airbus 321NEO aircraft.
Javier’s previous experience includes holding progressively senior roles with Vueling Airlines from 2010 to 2014, a successful low cost carrier in Europe, most notably as the Director of Network Planning, Scheduling, Slots and Corporate Affairs. During his tenure, Javier managed the network of the airline, growing the fleet size from 38 to 105 aircraft in a four-year span. He defined the Vueling network strategy that operated close to 400 routes that generated over USD $2 billion in revenue. Additionally, Javier was responsible for launching more than 200 routes over three years, achieving a 92% success rate. Prior to his tenure with Vueling, Javier held the role of Senior Strategist with Qatar Airways from 2008 to 2010 and Quality Manager with Iberia Regional AirNostrum from 2002 to 2006.
Javier has earned a Masters in Management from Harvard University, Masters in Marketing from ESIC Marketing School in Madrid, and Bachelor of Arts, Airline Business Administration from the University of Madrid. “With years of executive experience growing two of the world’s most successful low-cost carriers, Mr. Javier Suarez will take Jetlines through to its first flight,” said Executive Chairman, Mr. Mark Morabito.
The $700,000 investment, which Mr. Johnson was originally planning to make while CEO, has been restructured. Instead of acquiring a 5% equity interest in the Company’s subsidiary (Canada Jetlines Operations Ltd.), Mr. Johnson will complete a private placement for variable voting shares of the Company. Mr. Johnson will purchase variable voting shares for an aggregate subscription price of $700,000. Subject to TSX Venture Exchange (“TSXV”) approval, the subscription price per share shall be equal to $0.43. The completion of the private placement, which is expected to occur within the next two weeks, is subject to the approval of the Exchange and is subject to certain escrow conditions regarding future sale of stock.
In connection with his appointment as Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Suarez will be granted 750,000 Restricted Share Units (“RSUs”). The RSUs vest over a three-year period from the date of grant, with one third vesting at the end of each year during the three-year period.