Silver Airways today announced that it has completed its previously announced strategic review process, and an affiliate of Philadelphia-based private equity firm Versa Capital Management, LLC is now the controlling equity holder of the airline.
“This is yet another significant milestone for our young airline. As the carrier of choice for Florida and Bahamas, Silver Airways and our team of dedicated professionals have been focused on providing safe, reliable and customer-focused service while growing the network. Working with a strong partner such as Versa Capital Management will allow Silver to continue our longer-term growth plans and expansion deeper into the Caribbean, including our new operation to all nine Cuba destinations beyond Havana,” said Silver Airways President and CEO Sami Teittinen. “With fresh capital and a newly strengthened balance sheet, Silver Airways now has the resources to take advantage of its robust set of opportunities.”
“We are pleased to announce that the strategic review process we began nine months ago has been successfully completed,” said Silver’s CFO and Executive Vice President Jason Bewley. “The recapitalization of Silver Airways will provide our company the financial strength and resources needed to expand into Cuba and beyond. This is a very important step in the continuing evolution of Silver and we are excited for the opportunities that lie ahead.”
Versa Capital Chairman and CEO Gregory L. Segall stated:
“We welcome this opportunity to work with Sami and the Silver team as they move forward with their growth initiatives. We share their vision for the company and believe that Silver Airways’ unique positioning in the airline industry offers U.S. customers travel opportunities not available elsewhere.”
Silver Airways was launched in December 2011 as a United Express carrier operating with 21 Beech 1900D aircraft. In just a few short years, the airline has become fully independent with its own Sabre reservation system as of June 2013, and its growth has continued. The airline completed a fleet upgrade to newer, larger, more advanced and fuel efficient Saab 340B Plus aircraft, and has continued to develop its network throughout Florida and the Bahamas, as well as serving the Mid-Atlantic region from Washington, DC (Dulles). Today, Silver operates more routes in Florida and between Florida and the Bahamas than any other airline, and also offers more routes between the U.S. and Cuba than any other airline, serving all nine destinations in Cuba beyond Havana.”
Silver has built and continues to grow its network of airline partners, which today includes codeshares with JetBlue, United Airlines, and Avianca, as well as interline agreements with American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Alaska Airlines, Bahamasair, Hahn Air, Azul Brazilian Airlines, and All Nippon Airways. In June of this year, Silver was awarded historic approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation to officially begin operating regularly scheduled flights between South Florida and Cuba. Silver was one of the first U.S. airlines to begin regularly scheduled service to Cuba in over 50 years and is the only U.S. airline awarded the right to serve all nine Cuban destinations beyond Havana.”