Florida’s Silver Airways acquires Puerto Rico’s Seaborne Airlines
SAN JUAN – Fort Lauderdale-based Silver Airways has announced that its acquisition of San Juan-based Seaborne Airlines’ business and assets had closed, creating a combined airline to serve the Caribbean, Bahamas and several states.
The acquisition brings together two independent airlines with similar Saab 340B aircraft fleets, “complementary route networks, and common codeshare/interline partners,” the announcing release reads.
Silver recently announced it would be deploying 20 new ATR-600 aircraft across both airline networks, giving it an expanded range. The total fleet now consists of 31 aircraft.
“I am thrilled to welcome the Seaborne team members to the Silver family as together we create one of the nation’s leading independent airlines in a transaction that will benefit our guests, team members, and the communities we serve, as well as both airlines’ valued codeshare and interline partnerships with most major U.S. carriers,” Silver Airways CEO Steve Rossum, who will serve as CEO of the combined airline, said in the release.
“Despite the devastating impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, our resilient and dedicated employees at Seaborne have successfully restructured our company with the support of our loyal passengers,” added Seaborne CEO Ben Munson, who will leave the airline but “continue as a valued advisor to the company.”
The combined airline will continue operating Silver’s stateside and Bahamas route network under the Silver Airways banner and Seaborne’s network throughout Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the Caribbean under the Seaborne name.
Tickets for Silver will continue to be available on SilverAirways.com and bookings for Seaborne will continue on SeaborneAirlines.com. Seaborne passengers will be able to earn and redeem frequent traveler miles under Seaborne’s SeaMiles program. Initially, Seaborne will continue to operate under its own certificate as a standalone operating subsidiary of Silver.
The combined airline will employ nearly 1,000 people and be based at Silver’s offices in Fort Lauderdale. Corporate and operations support functions will remain at locations in Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, San Juan, and St. Croix, U.S.V.I.
Silver said the merger of the two airlines’ “operating functions, joint branding, and streamlining of the guest experience” is expected to occur during the next year.
Silver, the first commercial carrier founded in Florida, is a codeshare partner with United, JetBlue and Avianca, and has interline agreements with American, Delta, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Bahamasair, Hahn Air, and Azul.
The airline is owned by affiliates of Philadelphia-based investment firm Versa Capital Management LLC, a mayority owner of Seaborne, which announced plans to restructure under Chapeter 11 bankruptcy early this year and sell its assets to Silver.
Seaborne is a codeshare partner with American, Delta, JetBlue, and Vieques Airlink, and has interline agreements with United and Hahn Air. It has more than 1,500 monthly departures between San Juan’s Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport, St. Thomas airport and seaplane base, St. Croix airport and seaplane base, Anguilla, Antigua, Dominica, Saint Maarten, St. Kitts, Tortola, and Nevis.