777 Partners | May 06, 2022
777 Partners, a Miami-based private investment firm with a growing aviation and travel portfolio, announced the acquisition of Tel Aviv-based AeroCRS and Copenhagen-based WorldTicket.
The addition of AeroCRS and WorldTicket to 777 Partners' travel technology portfolio supports the company's ambitious technology strategy focused on delivering solutions that create new commerce channels for travel companies and improve next-generation retailing, distribution, interlining, and passenger connectivity.
"Changes within the travel sector have created an unprecedented opportunity for a new wave of highly disruptive companies focused on the latest retailing technology to partner with the wider travel community. We are delighted to welcome the talented AeroCRS and WorldTicket teams into the 777 family as we deliver on our exciting travel strategy through 2022 and beyond."
Joshua Wander, founder and managing partner of 777 Partners
777 Partners also leases aircraft and deploys technology solutions to its dynamic portfolio of airline investments, including Flair in Canada and the Australian start-up airline Bonza. With the 2019 acquisition of Air Black Box, an interlining technology company, the addition of AeroCRS and WorldTicket will form a new travel group offering a suite of disruptive technology products to airlines and travel companies worldwide. The acquisitions are part of 777 Partners' $100m commitment to the travel vertical and supporting the post-pandemic travel rebound and industry restructure through new disruptive technology opportunities.
Founded in 2006, Israel-based AeroCRS offers several travel-related products, including inventory management, reservations, and flight/fare management technology. The proven technology and product suite have been adopted significantly over the last two years as the aviation industry reviewed partnerships and distribution strategies. With cloud based and NDC level 4 technology at its heart, AeroCRS already hosts 90 airlines worldwide, with eight more in advanced implementation.
Meir Hadassi Turner, CEO & Founder of AeroCRS, said, "We are delighted to embark on our next exciting growth stage with 777 Partners. The adjacent synergies across the investment portfolio are significant and combined with 777's own proprietary technology and talent, we'll create a new travel group and a suite of travel solutions to support the growth and transformation of global start-up, low cost and full-service carriers of all sizes."
The acquisitions were led by Josh Wander and Steve Pasko, the founders of 777 Partners, and Adam Weiss, Chief Executive Officer of the firm's travel group who oversees all aviation and travel investments.
"Over the last two years, we have been focused on architecting and building a platform of interoperable, modular products which enable airlines, airports, and other travel companies to evolve their business models and regain control of passenger relationships by unencumbering themselves from legacy systems. These acquisitions significantly advance that effort." said Adam Weiss.
AeroCRS provides technology services and distribution connectivity to more than 90 travel companies worldwide since 2006. Its technology solutions include inventory management, yield & revenue management, fares & classes management, open API, B2C & B2B platform, fares branding, FFP, BI platform, reporting center, and many more technology services. In addition to the core software services, AeroCRS invented the AeroCRS Network. The Network is an online distribution platform for airlines based on API integrations globally to over 20 distribution channels. Any airline using the AeroCRS Network can increase sales and grow distribution reach no matter which Passenger Service System (PSS) solution it uses.
WorldTicket is a leading provider of Passenger Service Solutions (PSS) to airlines of all business models. Since 2002 the company has developed innovative and flexible airline IT solutions and is currently servicing more than 75 airlines worldwide. WorldTicket is headquartered in Copenhagen and has offices in Miami, Bangkok, Warsaw, Kyiv and Beijing. The global organization set-up allows 24/7 support for all airline customers across time zones. WorldTicket is the only PSS provider that has acquired its AOC holding airline, FlexFlight, with the IATA code W2. It allows the innovative company to sub-host any airline into the GDS without any long implementation times and upfront investments.
About 777 Partners
777 Partners is a Miami-based alternative investment firm that invests across several high-growth, attractive verticals. Founded in 2015, 777 Partners strategically invests across six broad industries: insurance; consumer and commercial finance; litigation finance; direct lending; sports, media and entertainment; and aviation. Within sports, notable investments include Genoa FC, a significant stake in Sevilla FC, one of Spain's most prestigious and successful football clubs, and the London Lions, London's only team in the British Basketball League team. Within travel, investments include AeroCRS, WorldTicket, Air Black Box and the ultra-low-cost carriers, Flair and Bonza.
TravelX | May 05, 2022
TravelX, the company building the travel industry's blockchain-based distribution protocol, announced a partnership with Kiu System Solutions via Kiu PSS - the comprehensive commercialization solution for airlines providing tools to manage inventory, reservations and tickets. This enables 73 airlines to tokenize and distribute inventory as NFTs through the blockchain ecosystem.
"At Kiu, we are focused on developing innovative and efficient solutions. This has been possible due to our vast experience in the industry and desire to provide new and better technologies to our clients and passengers. Through this partnership, we are excited to provide a new and innovative sales channel to our customers,"
Alberto Desimone, CEO and co-founder of Kiu
The strategic alliance allows airlines operating with Kiu to reduce distribution and transaction costs and increase revenue, while improving the traveler experience, by tokenizing and globally distributing inventory as NFTickets. NFTickets can be exchanged between actors in the blockchain network in accordance with smart contracts or parameters predefined by the service provider, generating additional revenue streams. Additionally, through transactions on the blockchain, refunds and exchanges are immediate and governed by automatically executed smart contracts, which saves money and time associated with customer service.
"We are very excited to be a part of the industry's first integration between a blockchain distribution protocol and PSS with the global reach of Kiu. Through this, more airlines will be able to experience the benefits that tokenization and blockchain provide in terms of cost efficiencies and revenue generation," adds Juan Pablo Lafosse, CEO and co-founder of TravelX. "We are proud that our partnership makes this all possible for airlines without the need for additional investments or technological developments on their side, as tokenizing inventory through blockchain is as easy as logging on and updating their agreement with Kiu."
TravelX was born in 2021 to reimagine the travel industry and accelerate its adaptation to Web3. One of TravelX's most innovative propositions is the tokenization of E-tickets, evolving them into NFTickets. The company plans to launch its first service and marketplace later this year.
TravelX is building a blockchain-based distribution protocol designed to create a more secure, decentralized, frictionless, transparent and efficient travel industry. The company's technology allows travel suppliers to more efficiently manage their inventory, unleashing use cases that enhance both travelers' flexibility and suppliers' profitability.
Voyager Aviation Holdings, LLC | February 28, 2022
Voyager Aviation Holdings, LLC (“VAH”), a global full-service aircraft asset lessor and manager, announced the closing of a five-year senior secured warehouse facility with an initial committed amount of $500 million (“the Facility”).
Citibank, N.A. (“Citi”) acted as Global Coordinator and Co-Structuring Agent alongside Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC (“Credit Suisse”) as Co-Structuring Agent. Citi and Credit Suisse both acted as Joint Lead Arrangers on the Facility. The initial syndicate of lenders also includes Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley.
“This $500 million Facility, with participation from marquee aviation lenders, demonstrates the confidence the market has with the VAH platform. In addition to the previous steps taken, this facility further provides the capital and flexibility required to execute on our strategic growth plan. It will also support our focus on the already improving market conditions and growing aircraft demand from our airline customers. VAH is positioned well to be a leader in the global aircraft investment and management space.”
-Mike Lungariello, President and CEO of VAH
Milbank acted as legal advisor to VAH with Vedder Price acting as legal advisor to the lenders. VAH was also supported in the transaction by Matheson as Irish legal advisor, Walkers as Cayman legal advisor, and KPMG as Irish tax advisor. Citi is acting as the Administrative Agent and the Security Trustee.
VAH is a privately held aviation investment firm and commercial aircraft asset lessor and manager with offices in Stamford and Dublin. Its assets of approximately $2 billion consist primarily of young and modern aircraft on lease to a global customer base of prominent passenger and cargo airlines.
FXSolutions | April 20, 2022
Aircraft brokerage company FXSolutions, the latest business to be launched by Directional Aviation’s family of companies, has developed a proprietary aircraft comparison tool to help private aviation clients take the next step in their aircraft acquisition journey.
FXSolutions offers industry-competitive advantages not found elsewhere including a hands-on approach to identifying aircraft inventory niche markets and the decades of collective experience of its leadership team. In addition to the team’s vast aviation knowledge, this interactive tool is particularly vital given today’s inventory challenges driven by high demand.
Founded on the laurels of Sojourn Aviation, FXSolutions will build on Sojourn’s success with Matthew Doyle as Managing Partner. Doyle brings more than 20 years of experience in aircraft sales from Flexjet and Flight Options. Joining Doyle in leading this new company will be Partner Ed McDonald, formerly of Sojourn, and Partner Clay Wilcox, formerly of Flexjet. Sojourn will be absorbed into the new brokerage service.
“It was never a simple process to find the best aircraft to meet your needs and negotiate the best price, and the market has changed in a way that makes using a professional brokerage team like ours the best way to navigate the process,” said Doyle.
According to a recent Barclays industry update report, preowned aircraft inventory has fallen, and pricing has grown in the last year. In fact, they have estimated that since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, young used aircraft inventory has decreased 52 percent. Overall, their research indicated that young preowned small cabin aircraft prices increased by 14 percent since the pandemic began.
FXSolutions can help buyers and sellers navigate these unique market conditions with a purchase process that includes an in-depth interview with the buyer to understand their mission and match them with the right aircraft types and then a worldwide research report aimed at identifying those available aircraft. FXSolutions uses its unique market data system and contacts to stay on top of aircraft availability. Not only does that hands-on approach benefit the buyer, but it also benefits the sellers they represent. FXSolutions expertly manages demonstration flights, pre-purchase inspections and all phases of the closing process.
“Our team of technical experts have such a depth of knowledge and experience that is unmatched in handling the inspection and due diligence during an aircraft transaction. To add to that, their knowledge in global aircraft sales is becoming increasingly sought after in this environment where inventory is tight. What is the unique, though, is that our service doesn’t end when the sale closes. We also can help you find a home for your aircraft, a crew to operate it and the resources to maintain it.”
Matthew Doyle, Managing Partner, FXSolutions
FXSolutions is an independent, global aircraft sales company providing consulting and financing assistance services for acquisition, brokerage and the sale of business aircraft led by some of the most experienced sales professionals in the industry. The company uses a combination of hands-on research and a proprietary aircraft comparison tool to assist buyers find the best aircraft at the best price. A member of the Directional Aviation family of businesses, FXSolutions is an accredited member of IADA and a member of NBAA.