Case Studies

Airline Development in Challenging Jurisdiction

J.S. Held’s Inaugural Global Risk Report Examines Potential Business Risks & Opportunities in 2024

Read More close Created with Sketch.

The Situation

The client developed a leasing portfolio of regional turboprop aircraft in the Western Caribbean. Following costly issues with poor quality lessees, the client decided to establish an airline and lease their aircraft. The new airline was hemorrhaging cash due to significant challenges with the country’s Aviation Authority’s non-compliance with ICAO regulations and a lack of properly qualified personnel. Following a short separate engagement that addressed issues relating to managing aircraft parts and ongoing losses due to poor record keeping and pilferage, an approach was made by the client for help with issues in a new airline venture.

How We Advised

An evaluation of operations highlighted that experience was lacking, and operations needed to expand to spread the heavy overhead burden of the airline’s infrastructure. Qualified, competent personnel were recruited from abroad to manage all areas of the business including training local resources to take on these roles in the future. The airline’s suite of operating manuals, systems, and processes were all upgraded in line with international requirements, which was key to securing route rights across the Caribbean.

The reservations system needed to be updated to accommodate online bookings. A suitable system was identified, trialed, and implemented. This Passenger Service System (PSS) provided a compliant boarding and aircraft dispatch process, including proper management of reservations, ticket pricing, and yields. A route structure was developed beyond existing domestic operations, and formal approvals were secured to operate scheduled services on routes to neighboring countries.

Within a short period, the airline was approved for use by the Government and Embassies for VVIP transportation, and monthly operating margins were consistently above the IATA average for the region.

Key Contact

Hamish P. Davidson
Managing Director
Corporate Finance
+1 689 223 5380
[email protected]

Related Practice Areas

> Interim Management – CEO, CFO, COO
We step into C-suite roles to help companies maximize value and mitigate risk through periods of change. Our experts join clients’ executive teams to provide interim leadership during high-stakes situations involving restructuring, receivership, mergers and acquisitions, divestment, leadership transitions, or filling an executive role following an unplanned departure.

> Corporate Finance
We combine financial expertise and cutting-edge technology to help both healthy and distressed companies create and protect business value. Our corporate finance experts are retained to value tangible and intangible assets, evaluate regulatory compliance programs, and work with clients to analyze large sets of data to inform proposed courses of action to optimize operations and maximize revenue.

Our Experts