Business Irish

Sunday 22 April 2018

Cawley-backed Flybondi set for first takeoff

Flybondi chief executive Julian Cook
Flybondi chief executive Julian Cook

Flybondi, the low-cost Argentinian carrier that's backed by former Ryanair chief operating officer Michael Cawley, is set to make its inaugural commercial flight tomorrow.

The airline, whose chief executive is Julian Cook, is taking advantage of the newly-deregulated market in Argentina and has seen brisk sales of its tickets.

It has a 15-year permit to operate 85 routes, including 43 domestic ones and 42 regional.

The airline's main base will be El Palor Airport in Buenos Aries.

Flybondi's first service will operate between its secondary base of Cordoba, a few hundred kilometres north west of Buenos Aries, to Puerto Iguazu, on the Argentina-Paraguay border.

Flybondi has been backed to the tune of $75m (€60.7m).

Apart from individual investors including Mr Cawley, who is also the chairman of Bord Fáilte and still a non-executive director at Ryanair, other backers include New York-based Cartesian Capital Group and Japanese firm Yamasa.

Michael Powell, the former chief financial officer at Wizz Air, is Flybondi's chairman.

The airline's board also includes Canadian airline executive Montie Brewer, who was once the CEO of Air Canada. Mr Brewer is also a former non-executive director of Aer Lingus.

Flybondi took delivery of its first aircraft in December.

The Boeing 737-800 is leased from Dublin-based SMBC Aviation Capital.

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