Chorus Aviation Announces Leasing Transaction for Five Q400s to Flybe and Reaches 50 Aircraft Portfolio Milestone


Delivering regional aviation to the world

HALIFAX, May 21, 2019 /CNW/ – Chorus Aviation Inc. ('Chorus') (TSX: CHR) announced today that Chorus Aviation Capital ('CAC') has entered into a purchase agreement to acquire five, mid-life Bombardier Q400 aircraft currently on lease with Europe's largest independent regional airline, Flybe. This transaction is expected to close by this summer and is subject to customary conditions precedent to closing, such as the novation of the existing leases, as well as the receipt of all regulatory approvals or consents required in connection with the acquisition of Flybe by Connect Airways Limited. With these acquisitions, Chorus Aviation Capital has announced 50 commitments to date for its regional aircraft leasing business.

"We are very pleased to expand our relationship with our existing customer, Flybe," said Steve Ridolfi, President, Chorus Aviation Capital. "In less than two years we've grown our leasing portfolio to 50 aircraft acquired at approximately US $995.0 million with US $765.0 million in future contract lease revenue."

"In addition to growing CAC's lease portfolio, these mid-life aircraft play to the Chorus group's strengths as a diversified provider of regional aviation services," commented Joe Randell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chorus.  "At the end of the lease term, Chorus will have multiple potential uses for these aircraft, including lease extensions, re-leases or sale to new operators, conversions to non-passenger use, or disassembly for parts sales. I applaud the Chorus team for reaching this important milestone and for embracing our vision to become a worldwide provider of integrated regional aviation services."

Upon the completion of this transaction, and seven other aircraft pending delivery to other customers, CAC's portfolio will include 38 turboprops and 12 regional jets placed with 13 airlines on six continents. When combined with the 47 aircraft leased under the Capacity Purchase Agreement with Air Canada, Chorus' fleet of leased aircraft has reached 97 aircraft valued at approximately US $1.6 billion.

About Chorus Aviation Capital

Established in 2017, Chorus Aviation Capital currently has relationships with 13 regional airlines based in 13 countries. CAC is focused on building a portfolio of new and mid-life regional aircraft, while leveraging the synergies inherent among its affiliated companies to provide a full suite of regional aviation services.

About Chorus

Headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Chorus was incorporated on September 27, 2010. Chorus' vision is to deliver regional aviation to the world. Chorus has been leasing its owned regional aircraft into Jazz's Air Canada Express operation since 2011, and established Chorus Aviation Capital to become a leading, global provider of regional aircraft leases.  Chorus also owns Jazz Aviation LP and Voyageur Aviation Corp. – companies that have long histories of safe and solid operations that deliver excellent customer service in the areas of contract flying operations, engineering, fleet management, and maintenance, repair and overhaul.  Together, the Chorus group of companies can provide a full suite of regional aviation support services. Chorus Class A Variable Voting Shares and Class B Voting Shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbol 'CHR'.

About Flybe

Flybe is the largest independent airline in Europe and carries approximately eight million passengers per year between 81 airports across the UK and Europe, with over 210 routes across 15 countries. 

Forward-Looking Information

This news release may contain 'forward-looking information'. Forward-looking information is identified by the use of terms and phrases such as "anticipate", "believe", "could", "estimate", "expect", "intend", "may", "plan", "predict", "potential", "pending", "project", "will", "would", and similar terms and phrases. Forward-looking information involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking information. Actual results may differ materially from results indicated in forward-looking information for a number of reasons, including the failure to close the transactions referenced in this news release on the terms and conditions currently contemplated by Chorus, or at all, as well the risk factors identified in Chorus' Annual Information Form dated February 21, 2019 and in Chorus' public disclosure record available at Statements containing forward-looking information in this news release represent Chorus' expectations as of the date of this news release (or as of the date they are otherwise stated to be made) and are subject to change after such date. Chorus disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise such statements to reflect new information, subsequent events or otherwise, unless required by applicable securities laws.


SOURCE Chorus Aviation Inc.