Chorus subsidiary Voyageur Aviation and General Dynamics Awarded Manned Airborne Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance In-Service Support Contract

HALIFAX, NS, May 13, 2021 /CNW/ – Chorus Aviation Inc. (‘Chorus’) (TSX: CHR) is proud to announce that its subsidiary, Voyageur Aviation Corp. (‘Voyageur’), in partnership with General Dynamics Mission Systems–Canada, has been awarded the In-Service-Support (‘ISS’) contract for the Manned Airborne Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (‘MAISR’) program. The initial in-service support contract is for approximately 8 years. The contract could be extended for over 20 years.

Voyageur and General Dynamics will support the Canadian Armed Forces (‘CAF’) intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance needs, while servicing its newly acquired fleet of three Beechcraft King Air 350ERs and associated mission systems.

Together, Voyageur and General Dynamics bring proven aircraft ISS, deployed operations support, material management, aircraft maintenance, airworthiness, and supply chain management experience – all elements that are critical to the successful achievement of the MAISR ISS program.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to partner with General Dynamics to deliver world class support to the Canadian Armed Forces. Chorus has a unique suite of integrated regional aviation and special mission solutions which are once again being demonstrated here,” said Joe Randell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chorus. 

“For almost 20 years, Voyageur has gained expertise in supporting our own special mission and humanitarian air services deployed around the globe,” said Scott Tapson, President, Voyageur.  “We are delighted to be combining this experience with General Dynamics in supporting the CAF with our collective capabilities.”

“General Dynamics has over 70 years of experience working closely with the CAF and welcomes the opportunity to now build on that,” said David Ibbetson, vice president and general manager of General Dynamics Mission Systems–International. “We are pleased to work with North Bay-based Voyageur to leverage our combined technical expertise and deep understanding of the ISR mission set, while ensuring MAISR fleet availability and mission success for years to come.”

Due to the long-term nature, and scope of this contract, an office will be set up and staffed at 8 Wing, CFB Trenton. Approximately 40 highly skilled jobs, split between General Dynamics and Voyageur employees, will be created and sustained in Central and Northeastern Ontario.

About Voyageur Aviation Corp.

Voyageur Aviation Corp. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Chorus Aviation Inc. Voyageur is an integrated provider of specialized aviation services, including contract flying operations both internationally and domestically, and offers advanced engineering and maintenance capabilities. Headquartered in North Bay, Ontario, Voyageur delivers innovative solutions to customers with unique aviation requirements and operates under the core principles of comprehensive safety management, quality assurance, and client-dedicated solutions.  For more information, visit www.voyav.com.

About Chorus Aviation Inc.

Chorus is a global provider of integrated regional aviation solutions. Chorus’ vision is to deliver regional aviation to the world. Headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Chorus is comprised of Chorus Aviation Capital – a leading, global lessor of regional aircraft, and Jazz Aviation and Voyageur Aviation – companies that have long histories of safe operations with excellent customer service. Chorus provides a full suite of regional aviation support services that encompasses every stage of an aircraft’s lifecycle, including aircraft acquisitions and leasing; aircraft refurbishment, engineering, modification, repurposing and preparation; contract flying; and aircraft and component maintenance, disassembly, and parts provisioning.

Chorus Class A Variable Voting Shares and Class B Voting Shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbol ‘CHR’. Chorus 6.00% Senior Debentures, 5.75% Senior Unsecured Debentures, and 6.00% Convertible Senior Unsecured Debentures trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbols ‘CHR.DB’, ‘CHR.DB.A’, and ‘CHR.DB.B’, respectively.

For more information, visit www.chorusaviation.com.

About General Dynamics

General Dynamics Mission Systems–Canada delivers advanced system solutions to Canadian and international customers. Headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, it is one of the largest defence and security companies in Canada and is a world-class prime contractor and systems integrator for military and public safety applications. For more information on General Dynamics Mission Systems, visit www.gdmissionsystems.ca

Chorus Aviation Announces First Quarter 2021 Financial Results

Q1 2021 Key Metrics

  • Net loss of $38.1 million, or $0.24 per basic share; a period-over-period decrease of $20.8 million due to one-time restructuring costs related to the 2021 capacity purchase agreement (‘CPA’) amendments of $81.8 million as outlined below, offset by the changes in unrealized foreign exchange of $45.4 million and income taxes.
  • Adjusted net income1 of $15.7 million, or $0.10 per basic share; a decrease of $8.1 million quarter-over-quarter primarily due to the impact of COVID-19.
  • Adjusted EBITDA1 of $84.0 million; a decrease of $4.5 million over first quarter 2020.
  • Liquidity of $171.3 million.
  • Collected approximately 62% of lease revenue billed in the first quarter consistent with fourth quarter 2020 collections.

Year-to-date Highlights

  • Revised CPA with Air Canada, enhancing Jazz’s position as the exclusive Air Canada Express operator of 70-78 seat regional capacity until the end of 2025 and is currently the sole provider of Air Canada Express services.
  • Completed a public offering and concurrent private placement for gross proceeds of $145.1 million.
  • Remarketed three Dash 8-400s to two new leasing customers, Sky Alps of Italy (two aircraft) and one Dash 8-400 to National Jet Express, a subsidiary of Australian aviation operator, Cobham Aviation Services.
  • Secured a three-year contract with Purolator for air cargo charter services, executing on Chorus’ growing capabilities in this market segment.
  • Awarded a 3-year contract to upgrade and modify Transport Canada’s National Aerial Surveillance Program fleet of Dash 8-100 and Dash 7 aircraft with new surveillance equipment.
  • Awarded a new five-year contract to provide fixed-wing air ambulance service for Ambulance New Brunswick further extending its 25-year relationship.

HALIFAX, NS, May 12, 2021 /CNW/ – Chorus Aviation Inc. (‘Chorus’) (TSX: CHR) today announced first quarter 2021 financial results and an update on the impact of COVID-19.

“I am proud and encouraged by our accomplishments so far this year,” commented Joe Randell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chorus. “While our industry continues to be challenged by the negative effects of COVID-19, we have made considerable progress towards ensuring we emerge from the pandemic in the strongest position possible.”

From Air Canada

“In March we revised our CPA with Air Canada to our mutual benefit. The two primary highlights are the transfer of 25 Embraer 175 aircraft to Jazz, and the introduction of a cap on the controllable cost guardrail receivable. With the transfer of the aircraft, Jazz is currently the sole operator of Air Canada Express flights and has the exclusive right to operate 70 – 78 seat regional capacity until 2025. As our work with Air Canada on recovery plans continues, these revisions further strengthen our relationship and provides significant network efficiencies and planning flexibility – elements that are vital as service resumptions are implemented. The new cap on the controllable cost guardrail reduces our financial exposure and minimizes draws on our working capital. Finally, the recent support of the Canadian government to Air Canada was a welcomed announcement as it helped preserve regional services across our nation.”

“While there remains uncertainty, our industry is starting to experience some encouraging signs of renewed travel demand, most particularly in regional and short-haul markets. This was evidenced by our recent long-term lease agreements with two new leasing customers, Sky Alps of Italy, and Cobham Aviation Services of Australia. The aircraft, three Dash 8-400s, were repossessed by Chorus in 2020 and underwent reconfiguration and return-to-service work at Voyageur and Jazz Technical Services. This is what differentiates Chorus from the competition – not only are we an airline operator, we offer a broad range of solutions to remarket aircraft in the midst of one of the most challenging periods in aviation history.”

“Although we paused our growth and diversification strategy in 2020 to focus on liquidity, it remains a corporate priority. Our capital raise in April was over-subscribed and generated gross proceeds of $145.1 million, thus enabling us to improve our balance sheet and prudently seek growth opportunities.”

“The recent contracts awarded to Voyageur by Purolator, Transport Canada and Ambulance New Brunswick are a testament to the incredible skill and ingenuity of the team and clearly position us as a premiere special mission service providerWe are pleased to grow our relationships with these important customers and are very excited to be expanding our capabilities to include cargo contract flying on behalf of Purolator. We view the cargo market as a growth opportunity that is benefiting from the successes of e-commerce and look forward to participating in this evolving sector.”

“We are proud of the way we are managing through this pandemic and have centered our attention on the future. I’m very grateful to our employees for delivering terrific accomplishments despite all the challenges associated with the global pandemic. We are well positioned to take advantage of future opportunities,” concluded Mr. Randell.

Link to full news release

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Voyageur Aviation awarded contract to upgrade Canada’s National Aerial Surveillance Program (NASP) fleet

HALIFAX, NS, April 29, 2021 /CNW/ – Chorus Aviation Inc. (‘Chorus’) (TSX: CHR) is proud to announce that its subsidiary, Voyageur Aviation Corp. (‘Voyageur’), has been awarded a 3-year contract to upgrade and modify Transport Canada’s National Aerial Surveillance Program (NASP) fleet of three Dash 8-100 and one Dash 7 aircraft with new surveillance equipment.

Since 1991, the iconic red planes of NASP have played an integral role in keeping our country safe by helping prevent pollution in Canadian waters, protecting the marine environment and endangered marine life, and ensuring a safe and efficient transportation industry along Canada’s massive and varied coastlines.

The contract involves the entire NASP fleet and includes the installation of surveillance equipment provisions for an electro-optical and infrared (‘EO/IR’) sensor, infrared and ultraviolet (‘IR/UV’) scanner for pollution monitoring, observation windows, mission crew seats, and other modifications to existing system installations. Additionally, one Dash 8-100 aircraft will receive Voyageur’s Long-Range Fuel System installation to enable missions requiring significant range and endurance.

“This contract demonstrates Voyageur’s unique engineering capabilities to support customers requiring innovative special mission solutions.” said Scott Tapson, President, Voyageur. “We are excited to expand our relationship with Transport Canada and look forward to working together on this project.”

All work for this contract will be completed at Voyageur’s 200,000 square foot maintenance and engineering facility located at its company headquarters in North Bay, Ontario.

About Voyageur Aviation Corp.

Voyageur Aviation Corp. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chorus Aviation Inc. Voyageur is an integrated provider of specialized aviation services, including contract flying operations both internationally and domestically, and offers advanced engineering and maintenance capabilities. Headquartered in North Bay, Ontario, Voyageur delivers innovative solutions to customers with unique aviation requirements and operates under the core principles of comprehensive safety management, quality assurance, and client-dedicated solutions.   www.voyav.com

About Chorus Aviation Inc.

Chorus is a global provider of integrated regional aviation solutions. Chorus’ vision is to deliver regional aviation to the world. Headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Chorus is comprised of Chorus Aviation Capital – a leading, global lessor of regional aircraft, and Jazz Aviation and Voyageur Aviation – companies that have long histories of safe operations with excellent customer service.  Chorus provides a full suite of regional aviation support services that encompasses every stage of an aircraft’s lifecycle, including aircraft acquisitions and leasing; aircraft refurbishment, engineering, modification, repurposing and preparation; contract flying; and aircraft and component maintenance, disassembly, and parts provisioning.

Chorus Aviation announces aircraft leasing transaction with Sky Alps

Delivering regional aviation to the world

HALIFAX, NS, April 12, 2021 /CNW/ – Chorus Aviation Inc. (‘Chorus’) (TSX: CHR) announced today that Chorus Aviation Capital (‘CAC’) has entered into agreements to lease two Dash 8-400 aircraft to Sky Alps of Bolzano, Italy. CAC expects to deliver the aircraft (MSNs 4230 and 4237) in April and May 2021.

“We are delighted to welcome Sky Alps as a new customer and look forward to supporting their success,” commented Steven Ridolfi, President, CAC. “We have been very impressed by the entrepreneurial spirit and business vision of the Sky Alps management team, including their introduction of regional connectivity to the northeastern Italian market, and we are excited at the growth potential of this market.”

“Sky Alps is very pleased to have selected CAC as our aircraft supplier for the initial launch of services from our South Tyrol base in Bolzano with two Dash 8-400 on long-term operating leases. Throughout our engagement, CAC has demonstrated its expertise in regional aviation matters and its commitment to Sky Alps operations. The Dash 8-400 will play a key role in the development of leisure and business access to our region,” added Josef Gostner, President of Sky Alps.

“History has shown that during downturns impacting the aviation sector, the regional market is the most resilient. Sky Alps is a terrific example of an operator seizing the opportunity to start up a new service as regional air travel begins to lead the recovery in global air travel,” said Joe Randell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chorus. “Further, the successful remarketing of these aircraft, which were repossessed by CAC in 2020 and underwent extensive reconfiguration and return-to-service work performed by Voyageur and Jazz Technical Services, is a testament to Chorus’ broad ability to find opportunities and execute on comprehensive solutions to remarket our aircraft in the midst of one of the most challenging periods in aviation history,” concluded Mr. Randell.

About Sky Alps

Sky Alps is a subsidiary company of the Fri-El Green Power S.p.A., one of the leading companies in the renewable energy field in Italy. They also hold an important position in the management and development on the future advancements of the airport in Bolzano.

Based in Bolzano, Italy, Sky Alps will begin domestic scheduled services to the Alpine region in the summer season of 2021, with a fleet of Dash 8-400 aircraft.

About Chorus Aviation Inc.

Chorus is a global provider of integrated regional aviation solutions. Chorus’ vision is to deliver regional aviation to the world. Headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Chorus is comprised of Chorus Aviation Capital – a leading, global lessor of regional aircraft, and Jazz Aviation and Voyageur Aviation – companies that have long histories of safe operations with excellent customer service. Chorus provides a full suite of regional aviation support services that encompasses every stage of an aircraft’s lifecycle, including aircraft acquisitions and leasing; aircraft refurbishment, engineering, modification, repurposing and preparation; contract flying; aircraft and component maintenance, disassembly, and parts provisioning.

www.chorusaviation.com

Chorus Aviation closes $115 million bought deal public offering and concurrent $30 million private placement from AIMCo and NordStar Capital

Over-allotment option fully exercised

NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION IN THE UNITED STATES OR OVER UNITED STATES WIRE SERVICES

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, April 06, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Chorus Aviation Inc. (“Chorus” or the “Company”) (TSX: CHR) announced today that it has completed its previously announced bought deal public offering (the “Offering”) of units of Chorus (the “Units”) and of convertible senior unsecured debentures (the “Debentures”) for aggregate gross proceeds of $115 million. Each Unit is comprised of one common share (the “Common Shares”) of the Company which, for greater certainty, means Class B Voting Shares for Canadian investors and Class A Variable Voting Shares for non-Canadian investors, and one-half of a Common Share purchase warrant of the Company.

In connection with the Offering, the Company issued from treasury $57.5 million of Units and $57.5 million aggregate principal amount of Debentures, including $7.5 million of Units and $7.5 million aggregate principal amount of Debentures issued as a result of the full exercise of the over-allotment option granted to the syndicate of underwriters led by RBC Capital Markets, as bookrunner.

In addition, Chorus issued to Alberta Investment Management Corporation (“AIMCo”), on behalf of certain of its clients, and NordStar Capital an aggregate of $15 million of Units and $15 million aggregate principal amount of Debentures (the “Private Placement”).

The net proceeds of the Offering and the Private Placement will be used to position Chorus to pursue growth opportunities (including purchasing additional aircraft to continue expanding Chorus’ regional aircraft leasing business and expanding into additional contracted flying operations), provide additional balance sheet flexibility, repay indebtedness and for general corporate purposes.

This news release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any offer, solicitation or sale of the securities in any province, state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful. The Units and Debentures have not been and will not be registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 and other applicable securities laws.

About Chorus

Chorus is a global provider of integrated regional aviation solutions. Chorus’ vision is to deliver regional aviation to the world. Headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Chorus is comprised of Chorus Aviation Capital – a leading, global lessor of regional aircraft, and Jazz Aviation and Voyageur Aviation – companies that have long histories of safe operations with excellent customer service. Chorus provides a full suite of regional aviation support services that encompasses every stage of an aircraft’s lifecycle, including aircraft acquisitions and leasing; aircraft refurbishment, engineering, modification, repurposing, and preparation; contract flying; and aircraft and component maintenance, disassembly, and parts provisioning. Chorus Class A Variable Voting Shares and Class B Voting Shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbol ‘CHR’. www.chorusaviation.com

About AIMCo

AIMCo is one of Canada’s largest and most diversified institutional investment managers with more than C$120 billion of assets under management. AIMCo was established on January 1, 2008 with a mandate to provide superior long-term investment results for its clients. AIMCo operates at arms-length from the Government of Alberta and invests globally on behalf of 33 pension, endowment and government funds in the Province of Alberta. AIMCo’s head office is located in Edmonton, Alberta, with additional offices located in Toronto, London, and Luxembourg. More information is available at www.aimco.ca.

About NordStar Capital

NordStar Capital is a Canadian company led by Jordan Bitove and Paul Rivett, and wholly owned by the Bitove and Rivett families. NordStar Capital is a long-term focused, relationship-based, innovative funding and advisory services firm.

Chorus Aviation announces $100 million bought deal public offering and a concurrent $30 million private placement from AIMCo and NordStar Capital

/NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION IN THE UNITED STATES OR OVER UNITED STATES WIRE SERVICES/

HALIFAX, NS, March 16, 2021 /CNW/ – Chorus Aviation Inc. (“Chorus” or the “Company”) (TSX: CHR) announced today that it has entered into an agreement with a syndicate of underwriters led by RBC Capital Markets, as bookrunner, under which they have agreed to purchase from Chorus and sell to the public $50 million units of Chorus (the “Units”) at a price of $4.60 per Unit (the “Unit Price”) and $50 million aggregate principal amount of convertible senior unsecured debentures at a price of $1,000 per debenture, with an interest rate of 6% per annum, payable semi-annually on the last day of June and December commencing on December 31, 2021 and maturing on June 30, 2026 (the “Debentures”), resulting in combined gross proceeds to Chorus of $100 million (the “Offering”). If the Over-Allotment Option, as defined hereinafter, is exercised in full, gross proceeds to Chorus will amount to $115 million.

Concurrently, Chorus has entered into agreements with Alberta Investment Management Corporation (“AIMCo”), on behalf of certain of its clients, and NordStar Capital to purchase from Chorus an aggregate of $15 million of Units at the Unit Price and $15 million aggregate principal amount of Debentures at a price of $1,000 per Debenture (the “Private Placement”).

The net proceeds of the Offering and concurrent Private Placement will be used to position Chorus to pursue growth opportunities (including purchasing additional aircraft to continue expanding the Company’s regional aircraft leasing business, and expanding into additional contracted flying operations), provide additional balance sheet flexibility, repay indebtedness (including the use of up to 35% of the Debenture Offering proceeds to repay part of the balance outstanding under the Company’s US$100 million revolving debt facility), and for general corporate purposes.

“We are very pleased to be launching this capital raise enabling us to bolster the balance sheet and prudently move ahead with re-starting our growth initiatives.” stated Joe Randell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chorus. “It has been a challenging year; however, I am proud of the way we are managing through this pandemic, and with the finalization of the revised capacity purchase agreement and this financing, we are now ready to turn our attention to the future. Our industry is seeing positive trends and as travel demand returns, most particularly in regional and short haul markets, Chorus is well positioned to pursue aircraft sale and leaseback opportunities with high quality airlines.” Joe added, “We are delighted that two sophisticated institutional investors such as AIMCo and NordStar Capital are participating in this transaction, demonstrating confidence in our growth strategy.”

“We are impressed with Chorus’ world class global operational excellence and believe that this financing positions it well to execute on a number of growth opportunities”, said David Tiley, Director, Public Equities, AIMCo. “Chorus Aviation represents a strong addition to our clients’ public markets portfolio and is aligned with our strategy for seeking long term value creation. We look forward to future opportunities to expand our relationship with Chorus as it continues to pursue its strategic ambitions.”

Each Unit will be comprised of one common share (the “Common Shares”) of the Company which, for greater certainty, shall mean for Canadian investors participating in the offering, Class B Voting Shares of Chorus, and for non-Canadian investors participating in the offering, Class A Variable Voting Shares of Chorus, and one-half of a Common Share purchase warrant of the Company. Each full Warrant shall entitle the holder thereof to purchase one Common Share at an exercise price of $6.20 at any time for a period of 12 months following the closing of the Offering.

The Debentures will be convertible at the holder’s option into Common Shares at a conversion price of $6.35 per Common Share (the “Conversion Price”), subject to adjustment in certain circumstances. The Debentures will not be redeemable by the Company before June 30, 2024. On or after June 30, 2024 and prior to June 30, 2025, the Debentures may be redeemed in whole or in part from time to time at the option of the Company at par plus accrued and unpaid interest, if any, to but excluding the date of redemption, provided that the arithmetic average of the volume weighted average trading price of the Common Shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange (the “TSX”) for the 20 consecutive trading days ending five trading days preceding the date on which notice of redemption is given is at least 125% of the Conversion Price. On or after June 30, 2025, the Debentures may be redeemed at the option of the Company at any time at par plus accrued and unpaid interest, if any, to but excluding the date of redemption.

Chorus has also granted the underwriters the option to purchase up to an additional $7.5 million of Units and up to an additional $7.5 million aggregate principal amount of Debentures, exercisable in whole or in part, to cover over-allotments, if any, and for market stabilization purposes, during the 30 days following the closing of the offering (the “Over-Allotment Option”).

Closing is expected to occur on or about April 6, 2021, and is subject to the receipt of all required regulatory approvals including that of the TSX.

The Units and Debentures will be offered by way of a short form prospectus in all of the provinces and territories of Canada as well as by way of private placement in Canada and may also be offered by way of private placement in the United States. This news release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any offer, solicitation or sale of the securities in any province, state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful. The Units and Debentures have not been and will not be registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 and other applicable securities laws.

This concludes the investment discussions referenced in Chorus’ news release dated February 18, 2021.

About Chorus

Chorus is a global provider of integrated regional aviation solutions. Chorus’ vision is to deliver regional aviation to the world. Headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Chorus is comprised of Chorus Aviation Capital – a leading, global lessor of regional aircraft, and Jazz Aviation and Voyageur Aviation – companies that have long histories of safe operations with excellent customer service. Chorus provides a full suite of regional aviation support services that encompasses every stage of an aircraft’s lifecycle, including aircraft acquisitions and leasing; aircraft refurbishment, engineering, modification, repurposing, and preparation; contract flying; and aircraft and component maintenance, disassembly, and parts provisioning. Chorus Class A Variable Voting Shares and Class B Voting Shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbol ‘CHR’. www.chorusaviation.com

About AIMCo

AIMCo is one of Canada’s largest and most diversified institutional investment managers with more than C$120 billion of assets under management. AIMCo was established on January 1, 2008 with a mandate to provide superior long-term investment results for its clients. AIMCo operates at arms-length from the Government of Alberta and invests globally on behalf of 33 pension, endowment and government funds in the Province of Alberta. AIMCo’s head office is located in Edmonton, Alberta, with additional offices located in Toronto, London, and Luxembourg. More information is available at www.aimco.ca

About NordStar Capital

NordStar Capital is a Canadian company led by Jordan Bitove and Paul Rivett, and wholly owned by the Bitove and Rivett families. NordStar Capital is a long-term focused, relationship-based, innovative funding and advisory services firm.

Chorus Aviation Finalizes Revisions to the Capacity Purchase Agreement With Air Canada

Jazz is sole operator of Air Canada Express flights

  • 25 Embraer 175 aircraft to be added to the Covered Aircraft fleet, increasing the fixed fee margin.
  • Jazz to provide 100% of Air Canada Express 70+ seat regional capacity until 2025.
  • Dash 8-300 aircraft to exit the Covered Aircraft fleet.
  • Controllable cost guardrail receivable capped at $20 million per year, improving working capital; +/- $2.0 million exposure is unchanged.
  • All other material components of the CPA are unchanged.

HALIFAX, NS, March 15, 2021 /CNW/ – Chorus Aviation Inc. (TSX: CHR) (‘Chorus’), parent company of Jazz Aviation LP (‘Jazz’), today confirmed the condition precedent to the revisions of the capacity purchase agreement (‘CPA’) between Jazz and Air Canada announced on March 1, 2021 has been met. As a result, the amended CPA is effective on a retroactive basis to January 1, 2021. The newly ratified agreement with Jazz pilots, as represented by the Air line Pilots Association International, will run until December 31, 2035.

“I extend my gratitude to our Jazz pilots and the leadership team of the Air Line Pilots Association International for securing Jazz’s place within the Air Canada Express network. This is very good news for our employees and our stakeholders,” stated Joe Randell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chorus. “As the sole operator of Air Canada Express services, we look forward to integrating the Embraer 175s into our fleet and further expanding our wide portfolio of regional aviation capabilities and services.”

Revisions to the CPA include the following:

Consolidation of 25 Embraer 175s into Jazz’s Covered Aircraft fleet

  • Jazz will operate the 25 E175s under the CPA.
  • Jazz is the exclusive Air Canada Express operator of 70+ seat aircraft until the end of 2025.
  • Fixed fees increase by $46.0 million over the term of the CPA with annual minimum fixed fees increasing by $1.2 million per year from 2021 to 2025, and by approximately $4.0 million per year from 2026 to 2035.

Removal of 19 Dash 8-300s from Jazz’s Covered Aircraft fleet

  • 19 Dash 8-300s will be removed from the fleet in 2021. Removal of the Dash 8-300s will reduce future aircraft leasing revenue under the CPA by approximately $56.0 million over the remaining term of the contract.
  • Chorus owns these Dash 8-300s, 15 of which have undergone the Extended Service Program (‘ESP’) which prolongs their useful life by approximately 15 years. Chorus estimates the carrying value of these aircraft to be approximately $65.0 million, and can sell, lease, or convert them for cargo operations.

Controllable Cost Guardrail Receivable

  • The controllable cost guardrail receivable is capped to a maximum of $20.0 million annually and is reconciled on a quarterly basis and paid in the following quarter. This will avoid the accumulation of a receivable in excess of the agreed maximum. The +/-$2.0 million controllable cost guardrail exposure is unchanged.

As a result of these revisions to the CPA, Chorus anticipates one-time costs, charges, and other fees to range between $100.0 million and $110.0 million, with approximately half of this range being non-cash in nature, and the cash portion paid over several years. The non-cash component includes an estimated $45.0 million impairment provision on the Dash 8-300s and supporting inventory, and a non-cash defined benefit pension curtailment expense related to the number and demographics of pilots opting for early retirement estimated to be between $10.0 and $15.0 million. Approximately $49.0 million in one-time cash costs are anticipated on account of cash payments to incentivize the early departure of Jazz senior pilots enrolled in the defined benefit pension plan, as well as a contract fee payable to Air Canada related to the transfer and integration of the E175 fleet.

About Chorus Aviation Inc.

Chorus is a global provider of integrated regional aviation solutions. Chorus’ vision is to deliver regional aviation to the world. Headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Chorus is comprised of Chorus Aviation Capital a leading, global lessor of regional aircraft, and Jazz and Voyageur Aviation – companies that have long histories of safe operations with excellent customer service. Chorus provides a full suite of regional aviation support services that encompasses every stage of an aircraft’s lifecycle, including aircraft acquisitions and leasing; aircraft refurbishment, engineering, modification, repurposing and preparation; contract flying; aircraft and component maintenance, disassembly, and parts provisioning.

Sky Regional Airlines to close after losing Air Canada Express contract

From The Globe and Mail – link to source story

ERIC ATKINS, TRANSPORTATION REPORTER | PUBLISHED MARCH 2, 2021

Sky Regional Airlines Inc. will shut down its commercial flight operations on March 31 after losing its Air Canada Express contract, becoming the first mid-sized Canadian airline to fall victim to the pandemic.

Toronto-based Sky Regional, which employs about 650 people, flies 25 Embraer E175 planes branded as Air Canada Express.

Air Canada said on Monday it will make Chorus Aviation’s Jazz subsidiary the lone operator of Air Canada Express flights, and transfer the planes to Jazz Aviation. The move means the union that represents about 300 Sky Regional pilots will begin negotiations to transfer members to Jazz, amid a pandemic that has seen thousands of airline employees laid off.

“Sadly, as a result, we will be forced to shut down our operations, despite our many adjustments in the face of the various travel restrictions imposed by governments, thus far without any sector-specific support,” said Russell Payson, founder and chief executive officer of Sky Regional. “I am extremely proud of Sky Regional’s record, and its outstanding, innovative and dedicated team; and it is hard to reconcile the tragedy of today’s announcement given the strength and success of our organization.”

The transfer of the pilots to Jazz Aviation is subject to negotiations between Air Line Pilots Association and Jazz.

“Further to the termination of the [Air Canada agreement] between Air Canada and Sky Regional, Sky Regional will cease its operations and business, which includes, except for the pilots, the termination of employment for all its employees on March 31, 2021,” Sky Regional told employees in a memo, a copy of which was obtained by the Globe and Mail.

The pilots’ union said no one was available to comment on Monday and Tuesday.

Sky Regional employed 800 before the pandemic began a year ago. The planes, labelled Air Canada Express, flew out of Toronto to destinations in Canada and the United States.

“That’s big news,” John Gradek, who teaches aviation leadership at McGill University, said of Sky Regional’s shutdown.

He said Michael Rousseau, Air Canada’s new chief executive officer, is “flexing his muscles” with contractors and slashing costs to better position the airline for the eventual return to prepandemic levels of demand. Rousseau i s very much a cost accountant,” Mr. Gradek said. “He knows that to survive Air Canada is going to cut its costs significantly.”

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Air Canada said on Monday it is “consolidating” its regional flights with Halifax-based Jazz Aviation to save $400-million over the 15 years of the agreement.

“Air Canada is consolidating its regional flying with Jazz in response to the ongoing devastating impact of COVID-19 upon the airline industry,” Air Canada said in a statement on Monday. “This necessary realignment of our regional services will help Air Canada achieve efficiencies and reduce operating costs and cash burn by consolidating its regional operations with one provider. Moreover, by streamlining the regional fleet, this agreement will also position Air Canada to operate more competitively with a single provider as traffic returns following the pandemic.”

Mr. Payson, a pilot, founded Sky Regional in 2011. The business began with five Bombardier Q400 planes flying from Toronto’s Billy Bishop Airport. He also founded Skyservice, an aircraft charter, management and maintenance company with locations in Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa and Calgary.

In a statement to The Globe and Mail, Mr. Payson called Sky Regional a “Canadian success story.”

“The company was on a solid growth trajectory,” he said. “Over the past decade, we have operated with outstanding service, an impeccable safety record and excellent cost management, which benefited not only our client [Air Canada], but Canadian travellers.”

Canada’s airlines have laid off thousands of employees – more than 20,000 at Air Canada alone – and reduced capacity by as much as 90 per cent as the pandemic persists. Porter Airlines, Sunwing Airlines and Air Transat have suspended normal operations. Air Canada has suspended several routes and pulled out of some airports in smaller cities, many of which were served on its behalf by Sky Regional and Jazz Aviation.

The government has imposed travel and quarantine restrictions, and requires people entering Canada to be tested for COVID-19 and isolate in hotels.

The aviation industry has called for a system of eased travel restrictions in tandem with negative tests. The industry has repeatedly called for sector-specific aid, warning the domestic industry will be unable to restart and compete with global rivals when demand for air travel returns.

Jazz Aviation recognized as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for the tenth year

HALIFAX, NS, March 2, 2021 /CNW/ – Chorus Aviation Inc. (‘Chorus’) (TSX: CHR) is proud to announce that its subsidiary, Jazz Aviation LP (‘Jazz’), has been named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers for the tenth consecutive year in an annual national employer survey by Mediacorp Canada Inc.

“We are honoured to have been recognized as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers each year for the past decade. Diversity is core to the culture all Jazz employees are proud of – one that values individual uniqueness and fosters safe spaces that empower employees to be their authentic selves,” said Randolph deGooyer, President, Jazz. “By encouraging inclusive work environments that build on the diverse perspectives, experiences, and abilities of employees, we are fostering innovation and positive change.”

Canada’s Best Diversity Employers recognizes the nation’s top employers who have exceptional workplace diversity and inclusiveness programs. The competition recognizes successful diversity initiatives in a variety of areas, including programs for employees from five groups: women; members of visible minorities; persons with disabilities; Indigenous peoples; and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered/transsexual (LGBT) people.

Mediacorp Canada Inc. recognized Jazz for the many initiatives the airline has developed and supported, including working with a number of community partners to reach out to Aboriginal candidates and mentoring students from First Nations Technical Institute. Jazz encourages young women to consider careers in aviation by participating in annual events such as Girls Take Flight. Also, Jazz embeds diversity and inclusion into its supplier policy.

About Chorus

Chorus is a global provider of integrated regional aviation solutions. Chorus’ vision is to deliver regional aviation to the world. Headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Chorus is comprised of Chorus Aviation Capital – a leading, global lessor of regional aircraft, and Jazz Aviation and Voyageur Aviation – companies that have long histories of safe operations with excellent customer service. Chorus provides a full suite of regional aviation support services that encompassesevery stage of an aircraft’s lifecycle, including aircraft acquisitions and leasing; aircraft refurbishment, engineering, modification, repurposing, and preparation; contract flying; and aircraft and component maintenance, disassembly, and parts provisioning. Chorus Class A Variable Voting Shares and Class B Voting Shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbol ‘CHR’. www.chorusaviation.com

About Jazz

Jazz Aviation LP has a strong history in Canadian aviation with its roots going back to the 1930s. As the largest regional carrier in Canada, Jazz has a proven track record of industry leadership and exceptional customer service and has leveraged that strength to deliver value to all its stakeholders. www.flyjazz.ca

Chorus Aviation Announces Revisions to the Capacity Purchase Agreement with Air Canada

Enhancing Jazz’s position within Air Canada’s network

  • 25 Embraer 175 aircraft to be added to the Covered Aircraft fleet, increasing the fixed fee margin.
  • Jazz to provide 100% of Air Canada Express 70+ seat regional capacity until 2025.
  • Dash 8-300 aircraft to exit the Covered Aircraft fleet.
  • Controllable cost guardrail receivable to be capped at $20 million per year, improving working capital.
  • All other material components of the CPA are unchanged.

HALIFAX, NS, March 1, 2021 /CNW/ – Chorus Aviation Inc. (‘TSX: CHR) (‘Chorus’), parent company of Jazz Aviation LP (‘Jazz’), today announced an agreement to revise the capacity purchase agreement (‘CPA’) between Jazz and Air Canada. The agreement addresses the dramatic and sustained reduction in air travel demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic by optimizing the Jazz fleet. The revisions to the CPA are conditional on Jazz reaching an agreement with the Air Line Pilots Association, International which represents Jazz pilots. If this condition is satisfied, the CPA will be amended on a retroactive basis to January 1, 2021.

Chorus and Air Canada have a successful history of working together to adjust the terms of the CPA for mutual benefit. These proposed changes relate primarily to the Covered Aircraft, enhancing Jazz’s position in Air Canada’s network as the sole regional partner for 70+ seat regional aircraft until 2025 while providing Air Canada with greater cost efficiency and flexibility.

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge the aviation industry. With the Jazz fleet operating at a fraction of the capacity it flew a year ago, now is the time to update the CPA to help preserve regional flying and Jazz’s place within it,” commented Joe Randell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chorus.

“The Jazz fleet is up-gauging to larger regional jet aircraft and replacing smaller turboprop fleet sooner than contemplated in the previous fleet plan. Bringing the Embraer 175 aircraft into the Jazz Covered Aircraft fleet makes Jazz the exclusive Air Canada Express operator of 70+ seat aircraft until 2025 and is a demonstration of our cost competitiveness and strong relationship with Air Canada. Further, quarterly reconciliation of the controllable cost guardrail receivable provides greater certainty in the timing of cash flows and improves our liquidity by eliminating potentially significant draws on working capital,” concluded Mr. Randell.

Revisions to the CPA include the following:

Consolidation of 25 Embraer 175s into Jazz’s Covered Aircraft fleet

  • Jazz will operate the 25 E175s under the CPA.
  • Jazz will become the exclusive Air Canada Express operator of 70+ seat aircraft until the end of 2025.
  • Fixed fees will increase by $46.0 million over the term of the CPA with annual minimum fixed fees increasing by $1.2 million per year from 2021 to 2025, and by approximately $4.0 million per year from 2026 to 2035.

Removal of 19 Dash 8-300s from Jazz’s Covered Aircraft fleet

  • 19 Dash 8-300s will be removed from the fleet in 2021. Removal of the Dash 8- 300s will reduce future aircraft leasing revenue under the CPA by approximately $56.0 million over the remaining term of the contract.
  • Chorus owns these Dash 8-300s, 15 of which have undergone the Extended Service Program (‘ESP’) which prolongs their useful life by approximately 15 years. Chorus has the ability to sell or lease these aircraft or convert them for cargo operations.

Controllable Cost Guardrail Receivable

  • Uncertainty in the flying schedule caused by the pandemic resulted in the accumulation of a $44.2 million controllable cost guardrail receivable from Air Canada at December 31, 2020.
  • The revisions to the CPA will cap the controllable cost guardrail receivable to a maximum of $20.0 million annually and provide for quarterly reconciliations to avoid the accumulation of a receivable in excess of the agreed maximum.
  • The 2020 guardrail receivable has been paid; however, without the proposed changes to the guardrail, the 2021 CPA guardrail receivable could be as high as $45 million.
  • Quarterly reconciliations against the new guardrail receivable cap will reduce Chorus’ financial exposure by capping the guardrail receivable and minimize draws on Chorus’ available working capital.

As a result of these revisions to the CPA, Chorus anticipates one-time costs, charges, and other fees to range between $90.0 million and $110.0 million, with approximately half of this range being non-cash in nature, and the cash portion paid over several years.

All other material components of the CPA are unchanged, including:

  • Contract expiring on December 31, 2035.
  • Minimum fleet guarantee of 105 aircraft until 2025, and 80 aircraft from 2026 and beyond.
  • Performance incentive compensation.
  • Pilot mobility program.

Upon becoming effective, these revisions to the CPA optimizes the Jazz fleet for Air Canada and makes it the exclusive provider 70+ seat regional capacity in the Air Canada Express network until 2025, while providing significant cost savings and network planning flexibility for Air Canada.

About Chorus Aviation Inc.

Chorus is a global provider of integrated regional aviation solutions. Chorus’ vision is to deliver regional aviation to the world. Headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Chorus is comprised of Chorus Aviation Capital a leading, global lessor of regional aircraft, and Jazz and Voyageur Aviation – companies that have long histories of safe operations with excellent customer service. Chorus provides a full suite of regional aviation support services that encompasses every stage of an aircraft’s lifecycle, including aircraft acquisitions and leasing; aircraft refurbishment, engineering, modification, repurposing and preparation; contract flying; aircraft and component maintenance, disassembly, and parts provisioning.