Stobart Group confirms it has bought more than 78% of Stobart Air

Stobart Air operates regional services for Aer Lingus

An Aer Lingus regional service landing at Donegal Airport at Carrickfinn, Kincasslagh. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

An Aer Lingus regional service landing at Donegal Airport at Carrickfinn, Kincasslagh. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

 

Stobart Group confirmed on Monday that it has bought more than 78 per cent of Stobart Air, the airline that operates the Aer Lingus regional service.

UK-based Stobart Group, which owns aviation and energy businesses, has bought a 75 per cent economic interest and 40 per cent voting interest in Everdeal 2019 Ltd, the holding company for both the Irish airline and Propius, a leasing company that provides the carrier with eight craft.

In a statement Stobart Group said that the deal would give it an “effective 78.25 per cent economic interest” in Stobart Air and Propius.

The group claimed that this would satisfy the terms of its Irish Air Operator’s Certificate. The Commission for Aviation Regulation confirmed on Monday that the deal satisfied those terms, but would not comment further.

EU rules bar any entity based outside the bloc from owning a majority stake in an EU-registered airline.

Stobart Group said it would pay up to £8.55 million (€9.8m) for the stake in the airline and Propius.

This includes £300,000 once the deal is completed, and £2 million by December 2020. It will pay a further £6.25 million based on certain conditions.

Propius pays almost €14.3 million a year to lease eight craft used by the airline. Stobart Group said that it would provide €25 million in cash to support the carrier, including the cost of the leases.

The group also said that it would work with Aer Lingus, Stobart Air’s main customer, to find a new financial partner that would allow the UK business to “exit its involvement” in the airline.

Stobart Group previously owned the businesses but sold them to Connect Airways in February last year.

Connect also owned British airline Flybe, both now in administration in the UK.