The long and well-leaked talks are off between Stobart Air and CityJet. The board of Stobart Group announced that Stobart had ended discussions with CityJet about a possible collaboration between the airlines, while CityJet said that it had given Stobart a deadline to conclude the deal, which had passed, so it had withdrawn from the process.
Pat Byrne, CityJet Chairman and Chief Executive, CityJet,said“The process became protracted over several months and, in the circumstances, we presented Stobart with a deadline for completion. The deadline lapsed this morning and, consequently, we have withdrawn from the process. It is unfortunate that it has not been possible to reach agreement with Stobart.”
“CityJet will move on to completing other initiatives, including the acquisition of another European regional airline and a major wet lease deal.”
Stobart’s statement said: “As part of our focus on the continued growth of Stobart Air, and the development of the Group’s wider aviation interests, we have been reviewing how best to structure and finance this development. Stobart Air has enjoyed sustained growth through our strong relationships with Aer Lingus and Flybe. Our Aer Lingus Regional services continue to perform well, while our Flybe franchise agreement has developed positively.
“The Stobart Group Board recently announced that it acquired Invesco Asset Management Ltd’s interests in Stobart Air and the aircraft leasing business, Propius Holdings Ltd (‘Propius’). Negotiations are progressing to acquire the remaining 33% interest in Propius from Aer Lingus.
“As part of the next stage of our review, the Board has also decided to end discussions with CityJet about a possible collaboration between the airlines. These discussions explored a range of options, including a change of ownership. Following consideration, and informed by our wider review, the Board has concluded that the agreement with CityJet is not in the commercial interest of the Group. We wish everyone at CityJet well.
“Stobart Air plans to:
- Further develop our services at London Southend Airport (LSA) through an expansion of our relationship with Flybe. We are pleased to announce the addition of up to 18 new destinations from LSA, operated by Stobart Air under our franchise agreement with Flybe. Further details of these routes, which will be operational in summer 2017, will be announced shortly.
- Our Aer Lingus Regional services will continue to grow, with a continued emphasis on growing passenger numbers across our 31 routes throughout Ireland, the UK and France.
“The Stobart Group will look forward to continuing to advance Stobart Air services and London Southend routes into the future.”