|Eastern Airways to acquire Air Southwest|
|Written by Ian Sheppard|
|Monday, 20 September 2010 13:25|
Eastern Airways says that it has reached an "agreement in principle" to acquire Air Southwest from current owner Sutton Harbour Group. Legal completion of the acquisition is expected next month, subject to regulatory approval.
Sutton Harbour Group is based in Plymouth, UK, and formed Air Southwest in 2003. The airline currently operates from 12 airports using a fleet of five 50-seat Dash 8-300 aircraft, manufactured by Bombardier.
Eastern Airways is based in Humberside, UK, with hubs at Aberdeen, Newcastle and Southampton. Its scheduled network encompasses 21 airports in the UK, Ireland, Norway and France.
With the acquisition, Eastern Airways' fleet will grow to 35 - at present it has 30 aircraft: 8 Saab 2000s and 20 Jetstream 41s, and this summer it added two Embraer 135s, its first jets.
The airline confirmed in a press release issued today (20 September) that the Air Southwest brand would still be used for Plymouth, Newquay and Bristol routes.
Eastern managing director Richard Lake said: "As market leaders in our respective catchments this deal makes perfect sense for Eastern Airways and gives us even greater reach across the UK."
He continued: "The integration of the two airlines also enables greater operational flexibility and efficiency as we can look into synergies by bringing both networks and fleets closely together."
Nigel Godefroy, CEO of Sutton Harbour Group, said: "Our goal has been to reach an agreement which puts Air Southwest in good hands. Being part of a larger airline will bring stability to Air Southwest [which] is good news for air travel to and from the far south-west [of England], and for Plymouth and Newquay airports."
Both Eastern and Southwest are active ERA member airlines. Eastern Airways won the Silver ERA Airline of the Year Gold Award in 2003/4 and 2004/5 and the GOLD ERA Airline of the Year Award in 2006/7.
|Last Updated on Monday, 20 September 2010 14:16|