DEBONAIR will decide within the next week whether to float on the London Stock Exchange.
Chairman and chief executive Franco Mancassola expects his airline’s financial advisors to finalise a report on the proposed flotation by the end of the month.
He said:”We have been trading for three years and qualify for a listing. If we decide to, it will be in the autumn.”
Mancassola said new capital from the float would be used to pay for up to nine additional aircraft to take the fleet to around 24 aircraft within three years. These will be used to expand Debonair’s European network.
Two years ago, Debonair became the first UK airline to float on the European Stock Market, Easdaq. The move raised £27.5m for the airline to invest in new jets and expand its network. This included eight new BAe 146, which brought the introduction of new flights to Paris and Perugia over the last year.
Mancassola said the extra capital from a float will also be used to expand the airline’s partnerships with Lufthansa and Swissair. Debonair has a contract with the pair to supply them with eight jets so they can expand their own regional airlines, Lufthansa CityLine and Swissair Express, at lower cost from their Munich and Zurich hubs.
Mancassola agreed the deal with the Lufthansa and Swissair earlier this year to ensure the airline had a separate leasing business to offset any downturn in the highly competitive low-cost airline market.
The new investment from a London float, if given approval, will also be used to pay for a second Boeing 737, which entered service earlier this month. The 132-seater aircraft, larger and faster than the airline’s core BAe 146 fleet, will be used on Debonair’s longest flights.
Mancassola is planing to use the B737 to operate new longer-haul routes. “The Boeing 737 gives us greater flexibility and allows us to enter markets that are beyond the BAe 146’s range,” he said.
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