Private equity and other investments into business aviation companies

Alasdair Whyte

Corporate Jet Investor tracks all investments into private aviation companies.

We track all significant investments into business aviation and helicopters. If you would like the data as a raw excel sheet please email [email protected]


Company Sector Country Investor Investment date Company Value Equity investment Notes
CHC Helicopter Operator (helicopter) Canada First Reserve 29-Sep-11   $100 million Secondary investment
PrivateFly Charter broker UK Foinavon Credit Fund. 28-Sep-11   £1 million PrivateFly investors include: Sam Friend, founder of, David Scowsill, president World Travel and Tourism Council, Richard Carrick ex-CEO of Hoseasons ( PrivateFly’s chairman),  Damon De Laszlo, and four other individuals.
Rotorcraft US  US Sankaty Advisors 15-Sep-11     Sankaty is a fixed income and credit manager, not private quity
JetSuite Operator US Tony Hsieh 13-Sep-11   $7 million Hsieh is founder of
Lobo Leasing                        Finance                US Perella Weinberg Partnersʼ Asset Based Value strategy fund 02-Jun-11     Helicopter lessor
Air Works MRO India Elephant Capital 18-May-11   $3.96 million (4.8% stake) India’s largest business jet MRO, also owns Air Livery.
JetSuite Operator US David Neeleman, Arcadia Woods Partners 4-Oct -2010     Claret Capital was early investor
Guggenheim Partners Business Aircraft Investments Finance US Guggenheim funds, Directional Capital  Sep-10     Undisclosed but aiming to build $1 billion portfolio. Different to GaFCo fund 
Milestone Aviation Finance Ireland The Jordan Company (lead), Nautic Partners Aug-10   500 Helicopter and business jet lessor
SinglePoint Finance US Acorn Growth Capital Aug-10     New finance company specialising in smaller deals and old aircraft
Keystone Aviation Services Operator US  Rizvi Traverse Management, LLC, Starwood Capital Group Global, LP, Aug-10     Under the terms of the transaction, Rizvi Traverse converted a portion of Key Air’s outstanding indebtedness, which it acquired from Key Air’s lenders in December 2009, into equity.  Starwood has acquired an approximately 50% interest in the remaining debt and converted equity.  As part of the transaction, both Rizvi Traverse and Starwood have committed to support the future growth of Key Air and help ensure its continuing financial strength.
Aircraft Investors Resources, Epic Air, Aircraft Completion Services Manufacturer US LT Builders Group 08-Apr-10 6.5   Sold from Chapter 7.  Epic produces kit general aviation aircraft.
XOJET Operator US TPG Growth, OCL (Abu Dhabi) 21-Oct-09   100 TPG also provided $370 million debt facility
Flight Options Operator US Directional Capital, Resilience Capital Partners Mar-09      
JetBird Operator Ireland Middle East trading group Sep-08   15 JetBird, a VLJ operator, failed to launch
Jet Support Services Inc Finance US R.H. Book, LLC and 1848 Capital Partners May-08     Largest independent hourly maintenance company
CAMP Systems Information US Warburg Pincus 2008   38 Part of the recapitalization of CAMP, second lien term loan.  Merrill Lynch Capital led the syndication of a term loan B. 
First Aviation Services FBO US Goldman Sachs PIA May-08     Runs a FBO at Teterboro in New York
JetBird Operator Ireland Unnamed Middle Eastern Trading Group 15-Sep-08     Failed to launch               
Sentient Jet Operator/Cards US Macquarie Global Opportunities Partners 28-Sep-08      
Privatair US Operator US Gama Holdings (33% owned Growth Gate and Crescent Investments, 18-Jul-08      
Keystone Aviation Services Operator/FBO US Rizvi Traverse Management, Starwood Capital Aug-08     Rizvi acquired company’s debt on  December 28, 2009. With this investment Starwood acquired half of debt and converted equity.
National Air Services Operator/Fractional Saudi Arabia Kingdom Holiding Company 17-Jul-08     Abraaj Capital sold 30% stake
Jet Republic Operator/Fractional Portugal European American Investment Bank (Euram), Grupo Salinas,  Jonathan Breeze (founder), private investors Jun-08     Failed to launch
Eclipse Aviation Manufacturer US European Technology and Investment Research Center (ETIRC) Aviation. 14-Jan-08   100 Company filed for Chapter 11 on Nov 25 2007
Gama Holdings Ltd Operator UK Growth Gate, Crescent Investment Ltd 08-Jan-08     Acquired 33. Gama managed 33 aircraft at the time with $10 million EBITDA
Gama Middle East and Africa Operator UAE Growth Gate, Crescent Investment Ltd 08-Jan-08      
BJETS Operator Singapore Briley Group, The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) – part of Tata Group  Feb-19-2008      
Blink Operator UK Sir Peter Ogden, Celox SA, one other 10-Dec-07   30 Heller Ehrman (Europe) LLP advised Blink
Empire Aviation Group  Operator  UAE Dubai International Financial Centre Investments, Zabeel 11-Nov-07     Undislcosed but “strategic stake”
Guggenheim aero Finance Company (GaFCo) Finance US Guggenheim Partners, UBS 01-Jun-07     Formed with plan to securitise portfolio
Pegasus Elite Aviation Operator US Merrill Lynch, Pegasus Blue Star Fund. 01-Aug-07 400    
Flight Options Operator US H.I.G. Capital Nov-07     Acquired from Raytheon. Deloitte advised Raytheon
Nextant Aerospace Manufacturer US Directional Capital Late 2007   $24 million programme to upgrade Beechjet 400A Hawker 400XPs
  Conversion US Lehman Brothers 2007     Failed to acquire CRJ aircraft for a CRJ 200 airliner to business jet conversion programme
Hemisphere 200XR Conversion US Tailwind Capital LLC, Global Principal Finance Co (Merrill Lynch) 2007     CRJ 200 airliner to business jet conversion programme
ExecuJet Operator/FBO/MRO Europe, South Africa Dermot Desmond 17-May-07     Acquired 50%. Possibly funded with proceeds from sale of London City Airport.
DayJet Operator US new investors including eight institutions and private equity funds as well as numerous individuals 06-Mar-07 $50   Third funding round organised by Raymond James. Fourth round unscuccessful and company ceases operating on on Sept. 19, 2008
Constant Aviation MRO US Directional Capital 2007     Left over from Macquarie – Allied closing fund
Hawker Beechcraft Manufacturer US Onex, Goldman Sachs Dec-06 $3.3 billion $1.06bn Acquired from Raytheon invested $1.06 billion together.
Avio Manufacturer Italy Cinven (81%), Finmeccanica (15%) Oct-06 $3.27 billion   Acquired from The Carlyle Group and Finmeccanica
DayJet Operator US     $28 million    
JetBird Operator Ireland Conrado Dornier Nov-06   Private Failed to launch
JetBird Operator Ireland Claret Capital 2006   $45 million Failed to launch
JetDirect Aviation Operator/FBO US Brantley Partners, HSBC Private Equity, ABS Capital Partners V, AIG Co-Investment Fund 14-Sep-06 JetDirect Aviation 100.2 Filed for Chapter 7 on May 7 2009
Eclipse Aviation Manufacturer US Sand Hill Corporation, Gates Family, Undisclosed investors 2004 $201 million    
Keystone Aviation Services Operator/FBO US Rizvi Traverse Management 2004      
CAMP Systems Information US CAMP Systems Feb-05     Boston Ventures sold stake to CAMP. Allen & Company LLC and Kilpatrick Stockton LLP advised CAMP on the transaction. Willkie Farr and Gallagher advised Warburg Pincus.
JetSuite Operator US Claret Capital 2005      
Jet Aviation                         Maintenance Switz Permira Europe Oct-05 $91.3 million   Sold in Aug 2008 to General Dynamics
Pogo Jet Operator US Julian Robertson of Tiger Management ($4 million), William Rutledge, former CEO of Teledyne ($3 million), Don Burrs/Robert Crandall ($1 million combined) 2005 $8 million   First funding round. Pogo failed to launch.
Eclipse Aviation Manufacturer US Sand Hill Corporation ($42m), Gates Family, Undisclosed investors 2004 $201 million    
Adam Aircraft Manufacturer US Arcadia Partners, DE Shaw, Hunt Capital Growth Fund, W Capital Partners, Tinicum Inc, GS Capital Partners, Doll Capital Management, Mesirow Financial, Tinicum Capital Partners 2003   121.1 Investors came in over three investment rounds
Cirrus Industries    Manufactuer US Arcapita Capital (then Crescent Capital) August 2001                $100 million (58%)   Sold to AVIC in 2011
CAMP Systems Information US Boston Ventures  2000     Van M. Mankwitz sold to Boston  
Corporate Wings Operator US Kenn Ricci (now Directional Capital) 1980     Launched by Kenn Ricci who later founded Flight Options
NetJets Operator US Goldman Sachs 1980