JetBird secures new funding

 - December 27, 2007, 11:45 AM

JetBird, Europe’s planned new low-cost charter service, has raised €21 million ($31 million) in fresh capital through an oversubscribed private placement of equity to new and existing shareholders. The placement values the company at €101 million ($150 million) as it prepares to receive the first of 50 Embraer Phenom 100 very light jets in time to start operations in April 2009.

A JetBird spokesman told AIN that the company is likely to announce its first operating bases early this year. Initially, it intends to fly primarily between Europe’s main financial centers. The company, which holds options for another 50 Phenom 100s, is promising ad hoc charter rates that will be as much as 50 percent less than “current branded operators.”

The equity placement was arranged by Dublin, Ireland-based Claret Capital, which has committed to investing between $40 and $60 million through 2012.

According to a JetBird statement on December 3, the company has made “significant progress” in establishing a network of European FBOs and maintenance providers to support its charter operations