Fons Eignarhaldsfelag, the Icelandic investment company, has today entered into a binding agreement to acquire a majority shareholding in Astraeus, the niche UK airline based at London Gatwick with Aberdeen Asset Management and Astraeus Management. Aberdeen Asset Management is a major UK based Fund Manager with funds under management of US$140billion.
Fons is headed by Palmi Haraldsson and Johannes Kristinsson and has a number of aviation interests including Iceland Express. Palmi has a wide variety of other business ventures in the retail industry.
The arrangement will see Astraeus continue to operate its existing route structure from London Gatwick and Manchester, whilst at the same time providing back-of-house support and assistance to other airlines in Fons' expanding portfolio of investments. Exciting developments are in prospect, particularly in the Scandinavian arena, where Iceland Express has just announced an expanded route network of flights from Summer 2007.
It is launching the first ever direct services between the UK and the Cape Verde Islands on Thursday 2 November - early signs are very encouraging as the inaugural flight between London Gatwick and the islands' main international airport at Sal is already fully booked.
Astraeus' development plans include launching additional specialist flights to serve the oil & gas industry, and opening up new markets in West and East Africa, an area long neglected by other British scheduled carriers. It will introduce the first direct flights for over 20 years between London and Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, on December 13. Further announcements on new routes and service developments are expected in the near future.
One question is will AEU take over the Iceland Express flying from Hello Airlines - AEU flew the Iceland Express routes when they first started flights
[Edited 2006-10-29 20:53:31]