Florida-based Silver Airways is looking to expand its Caribbean footprint through a partnership with San Juan-based Seaborne Airlines, the carrier announced.
Negotiations are underway with Seaborne to explore commercial cooperation including potentially a combination in support of its long-term goal to become a major U.S. airline, said Steven A. Rossum, who has been named Silver Airways’ CEO effective today.
Seaborne serves destinations throughout Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and other countries in the Caribbean. Seaborne provides connections throughout the Caribbean via the carrier’s hub in San Juan, while also serving as the most critical link between St. Croix and St. Thomas with the carrier’s seaplane operation. Versa Capital is the largest creditor of Seaborne as well as its majority owner.
“Seaborne’s experienced and dedicated employees, portfolio of markets, and business partnerships could help facilitate Silver’s route network’s expansion into a variety of highly attractive flight destinations. Further updates will be provided as the evaluation of Seaborne progresses,” he said.
En route to reaching an agreement, Silver Airlines also announced it has signed a letter of intent to renew and expand its fleet with up to 50 new ATR-600 series aircraft, representing a $1.1 billion transaction.
The initial order is for 20 ATR-42-600 aircraft and the agreement also provides Silver the ability to upgrade to the larger series ATR-72-600s.
“Thanks to our incredibly dedicated and hardworking team, this aircraft acquisition is a monumental leap forward for Silver, our team members, and our passengers, and will allow us to expand our network with greater reach, including further into the Caribbean and the Southeastern United States,” said Jason Bewley, Silver Airways’ President and CFO.
Consummation of the ATR fleet upgrade and certain transactions involving Silver with Seaborne remain subject to certain conditions including receipt of requisite regulatory approvals.
Silver Airways is a U.S. airline operating around 100 daily scheduled flights between gateways in Florida and The Bahamas. The company is owned by Versa Capital Management, LLC, a Philadelphia-based private equity investment firm.