Jazz Air Income Fund completes equity investment in South American RegionalAirline, Pluna S.A.
HALIFAX, April 30 /CNW/ – Jazz Air Income Fund (TSX: JAZ.UN, 'Jazz') announced today that it has completed its $15 million (USD) investment in Latin American Regional Aviation Holding Corp ('LARAH') in return for a 33 1/3% non-voting equity interest in the company. LARAH holds an indirect 75% equity interest in Pluna Lineas Aéreas Uruguayas S.A. ('Pluna'). The remaining 25% equity interest in Pluna is held, indirectly, by the Government of Uruguay. Jazz's $15 million USD investment, together with an additional $5 million USD to be invested by the Government of Uruguay, will be used by Pluna to complete the business restructuring and to fund growth. Joseph Randell, Jazz's President and Chief Executive Officer, has been appointed as one of the 7 member board of directors of Pluna.
About Jazz Air LP
Jazz Air LP ("Jazz Air") is indirectly wholly owned by the Jazz Air Income Fund, and has a strong history in Canadian aviation with its roots going back to the 1930s. Since Jazz became publicly traded in February 2006, it has generated some of the strongest operational and financial results in the North American aviation industry. Under a capacity purchase agreement with Air Canada, Jazz Air provides service to and from lower-density markets as well as higher-density markets at off-peak times throughout Canada and to and from certain destinations in the United States. Jazz Air currently operates scheduled passenger service on behalf of Air Canada with approximately 800 departures per weekday to over 80 destinations in Canada and in the United States with a fleet of Canadian-made Bombardier aircraft.
Beginning in November, 2010 Jazz will operate B757-200 aircraft on behalf of Thomas Cook to various sun destinations from Canada for the winter seasons. The service is subject to Jazz obtaining the required regulatory approvals and the execution of definitive leasing and maintenance agreements with Thomas Cook Airlines Ltd. For more information, visit www.flyjazz.ca.
Additional information about Pluna Lineas Aéreas Uruguayas S.A.
Pluna is Uruguay's flagship airline and is headquartered in Montevideo. The airline is a private company and currently operates 6 CRJ 900 NextGen aircraft with 90-seat configuration to destinations in Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Paraguay. Pluna announced on April 14, 2010 that it has signed a follow-on firm order with Bombardier Aerospace for three additional CRJ900 NextGen regional jets and has taken options on an additional six CRJ900 NextGen aircraft. Pluna's target market, represented by a 2,500 km radius semi-circle around Montevideo, encompasses approximately 150 million people and more than 30 cities, each with a population of over 500,000 people.
The airline was founded over 75 years ago and has an excellent safety record. Pluna employs approximately 650 people in 5 countries (Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Paraguay). For more information visit www.flypluna.com.