CAE entered into a strategic partnership with Directional Aviation Capital, a private investment firm whose singular focus is private business aviation. The transaction includes CAE forming a joint venture with Directional Aviation’s (DAC) affiliate, Volo Sicuro LLC, and acquiring, for US$85 million, a 50 per cent stake in SIMCOM Holdings Inc.
In addition, DAC’s affiliated business aircraft operators, which include Flexjet, Flight Options, Flairjet, Sirio, Nextant Aerospace and Corporate Wings will enter into a 15-year exclusive training services agreement with SIMCOM and with CAE. Together, CAE notes these aircraft operators have a fleet of approximately 175 business aircraft.
As well, SIMCOM will purchase equipment from CAE’s latest product offering, including five full flight simulators. “Our investment in SIMCOM is another step in the expansion of CAE’s business aviation training business that gives us access to a rapidly growing customer base as Directional Aviation affiliates’ exclusive training partner for the next 15 years,” said Marc Parent, president and CEO, CAE.
Directional’s OneSky Flight portfolio of private jet travel providers includes shared ownership/fractional jet ownership, jet card, membership and on-demand charter providers. “Directional Aviation is charting the course of private aviation, worldwide. Today, we operate one of the largest business aviation fleets globally, and we plan on having significant growth in the future,” said Kenn Ricci, principal of Directional Aviation.
Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, where it also holds two training centres (with additional centres in Arizona and the UK), SIMCOM currently operates 47 simulators representative of a range of jet, turboprop and piston powered aircraft.
“We have a clear vision for SIMCOM’s future as an innovative training provider focused on the owner-flown market as well as fleet operators,” said Eric Hinson, president and CEO, of SIMCOM.