16 Nov Weaving sells its equity participation in Aigle Azur
Weaving Group transferred its minority stake in Aigle Azur to David Gary Neeleman, the aviation entrepreneur. It is a new milestone in the long and rich history of Europe’s oldest private airline, which was founded in 1946.
In 2001, when its fleet comprised just one aircraft, GoFast (now Weaving Group) acquired Aigle Azur with the aim of developing the French flag carrier on compatible markets with local positioning.
This proximity policy, initiated by Arezki Idjerouidene and continued by his son Meziane Idjerouidene, surrounded by their staff, helped to relaunch and then expand Aigle Azur, which was to become the second-largest French airline.
In 2010, the Group decided to open its subsidiary’s share capital in order to extend its model to the long-haul segment.
The first stage of this process, which aimed to strengthen and diversify the company’s ownership structure, began in 2012 with the entry of the HNA Group.
To win new market share and pursue its path of growth, Aigle Azur thus has a new shareholder to rely on: David Gary Neeleman, who is one of the world’s best-known aviation entrepreneurs and who created and developed the four independent airlines Morris Air, WestJet, JetBlue and Azul. In 2015, he acquired shares in TAP Air Portugal.
Meziane Idjerouidene, Chairman of Weaving, stated: “Our Group has stood alongside Aigle Azur for 16 years. With all of the company’s staff, whom I would like to thank, we can be proud of the success we have achieved together. The GoFast Group, which became the Weaving Group in 2017 and has been diversifying its activities, began discussions with a view to selling its stake in Aigle Azur several years ago. We had two criteria in mind when selecting a new partner: first, providing the company with fresh resources so that it can write a new page of its history; and second, taking on a new shareholder with unsurpassed knowledge of the sector who can take the enterprise forward, far into the future. These requirements have now been met. This is good news for Aigle Azur, for its customers and its employees, to whom I would like to reiterate my attachment and loyalty on behalf of the Weaving Group.”