Avolon executive among McCarthy’s Emerald Airlines backers


JOHN Higgins, commercial director of aircraft leasing giant Avolon, has invested € 2 million in Conor McCarthy’s start-up Emerald Airlines, which has just finalized a 10-year agreement to operate regional service Aer Lingus.

A new filing at the Companies Registry reveals that Mr. Higgins is one of the largest investors in Mr. McCarthy’s new airline, having spent € 500,000 to acquire common stock in the company and 1, € 5 million for cumulative redeemable preferred shares.

Avolon, one of the world’s largest aircraft leasing companies, announced last week that Mr. Higgins will be retiring from the company in October. Its COO, Tom Ashe, is also retiring.

Mr. Higgins’ investment in the carrier is the second largest after Mr. McCarthy himself. The entrepreneur has invested 4 million euros in his company Emerald Airlines.

The Emerald Airlines file shows that the carrier has raised a total of 8.3 million euros directly from investors. However, it is also understood that one of Mr McCarthy’s businesses loaned Emerald an additional € 2 million, bringing the total to € 10.3 million.

Emerald Airlines is also reportedly in the process of finalizing a € 6 million debt facility.

The carrier’s backers also include former Airbus senior executive, Toulouse-based Christopher Buckley. He invested € 400,000.

Airbus was one of the founding investors in Mr. McCarthy’s aircraft maintenance business Dublin Aerospace.

Other investors in Emerald Airlines include the former CEO of the aeronautical consultancy firm Santos Dumont, Cathal Kilmartin, who invested € 100,000 in the carrier.

David Bolger and an associated retirement vehicle have invested a total of € 165,000 in Emerald. Mr. Bolger is a Director at XS Insurance Direct in Dublin.

Delta Partners founder Frank Kenny also supported Emerald by investing € 400,000. He is also a director of Dublin Aerospace.

Some of Emerald Airlines’ investors were also original backers of Dublin Aerospace.

Another director of Dublin Aerospace, Brian Hayden, invested € 100,000 in Emerald alongside his wife. Mr. Hayden is also President of Santos Dumont and former President and Technical Executive Vice President of Gecas.

Jane O’Callaghan, senior director of aircraft leasing based in Dublin, also supported Emerald. She invested 100,000 €. Ms. O’Callaghan is currently Commercial Director of AMCK Aviation.

Emerald Airlines this week finalized its 10-year agreement with Aer Lingus.

The regional service Aer Lingus was operated by Dublin-based Stobart Air, which collapsed in June.

The contract is expected to start on January 1, 2023. However, due to the collapse of Stobart Air, Aer Lingus said it would “work closely” with Emerald Airlines to assess options for a possible more contract start date. early.

the Independent Irish first revealed last November that McCarthy’s Emerald Airlines had been named the preferred bidder to operate regional service Aer Lingus.

Mr McCarthy said this week that Emerald Airlines had “ambitious plans” to develop and expand its partnership with Aer Lingus in the years to come.

By the end of next year, Emerald plans to have 14 aircraft in service and approximately 400 employees. It already has around 40 employees hired for its headquarters at Dublin Airport.


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