Chorus Aviation expands leasing portfolio with new aircraft type and customer

Above the clouds

Airbus A220-300s on sale-leaseback to airBaltic

Delivering regional aviation to the world

HALIFAX, Nov. 20, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ – Chorus Aviation Inc. (‘Chorus’) (TSX: CHR) announced today that Chorus Aviation Capital (‘CAC’) has entered into a sale-leaseback agreement with airBaltic of Latvia to acquire five new Airbus A220-300 aircraft marking the addition of this this new aircraft type to the CAC product offering.

This transaction brings its customer base to 15 airlines on six continents. Two deliveries are anticipated in the fourth quarter of 2019 with the balance to be completed by the end of the third quarter in 2020.

"We are very pleased to welcome Latvia’s flag carrier, airBaltic to our family of airlines, and to introduce the Airbus A220 aircraft to our product offering," said Steve Ridolfi, President, Chorus Aviation Capital. "To date, we’ve grown our leasing portfolio to 601 aircraft acquired at approximately US $1.3 billion with approximately US $925.0 million in future contract lease revenue. The pipeline of opportunities remains strong."  

"The growth momentum in our leasing business continues. The economics and passenger comfort of the A220 aircraft is a great fit with our integrated aviation services strategy, and we’re excited to add Airbus to our list of world-class aircraft manufacturers," commented Joe Randell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chorus. "We’ve been conducting heavy maintenance work on Dash 8-400s operated by airBaltic and I’m pleased we’ve broadened our relationship to now include aircraft leasing.  This clearly demonstrates the broad scope of services we can offer to airlines around the world.  I applaud the Chorus team for reaching another milestone and for embracing our vision to become a worldwide provider of integrated regional aviation services."

"We are delighted to have Chorus Aviation Capital as one of airBaltic’s valued partners supporting our Airbus A220-300 fleet modernization. This is another successful A220-300 sale and leaseback transaction that we have closed with great support from Skytech-AIC," said Vitolds Jakovlevs, Chief Financial Officer of airBaltic.

Upon the completion of this transaction, and one other aircraft pending delivery to other customers, CAC’s portfolio will include 43 turboprops and 17 regional jets. When combined with the planned aircraft leased under the Capacity Purchase Agreement with Air Canada, Chorus’ fleet of leased aircraft will reach 131 aircraft valued at approximately US $2.2 billion.

1The CAC fleet total reflects the sale of three Dash 8-400s in October 2019.

About Chorus Aviation Capital

Established in 2017, Chorus Aviation Capital currently has relationships with 15 airlines based in 14 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

Chorus is a global provider of integrated regional aviation solutions.  Chorus’ vision is to deliver regional aviation to the world. Headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Chorus comprise Chorus Aviation Capital a leading, global lessor of regional aircraft, and Jazz Aviation and Voyageur Aviation, companies that have long histories of safe operations with excellent customer service. Chorus provides a full suite of regional aviation support services that encompasses every stage of an aircraft’s lifecycle, including: aircraft acquisition and leasing, aircraft refurbishment, engineering, modification, repurposing and preparation, contract flying, aircraft and component maintenance, disassembly, and parts provisioning. Chorus Class A Variable Voting Shares and Class B Voting Shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbol ‘CHR’


airBaltic (AIR BALTIC CORPORATION) is the most punctual airline in Europe connecting the Baltic region with over 70 destinations in Europe, the Middle East, and the CIS. airBaltic is a joint stock company that was established in 1995. Its primary shareholder is the Latvian state, which holds 80.05% of the stock, while Lars Thuesen holds around 20% through his fully-owned Aircraft Leasing 1 SIA. The airBaltic fleet consists of 37 aircraft – 20 Airbus A220-300s, 5 Boeing 737s and 12 Bombardier Q400Next Gen aircraft. airBaltic has received numerous international awards for excellence and innovative services. In 2017, the airline received the CAPA Regional Airline of the Year award, while in 2018 airBaltic received the ATW Airline Industry Achievement Award as the Market Leader of the Year. In addition, in 2019 airBaltic received Sector Leadership Award by Airline Business. airBaltic achieved the best on-time performance globally in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017.

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.