FORT WORTH, Texas - American Eagle Airlines today announced that it has signed a letter of intent to proceed with the sale of Executive Airlines. Executive currently operates as American Eagle out of its hubs in Miami and San Juan, providing service to destinations throughout Florida, the Caribbean and the Bahamas. The sale is expected to close near the end of first quarter 2003.
American Eagle is taking this step to ensure that American Airlines stays in compliance with its contract with the Allied Pilots Association (APA). That contract limits the amount of flying which can be done on the American code.
“Although I am disappointed that we have had to take this step, this transaction achieves a number of objectives,” said Peter M. Bowler, President of American Eagle. “First, it keeps American in compliance with the ‘scope clause’ imposed in the contract between American and APA. Second, it preserves jobs at both Executive and Eagle by avoiding the necessity of grounding additional aircraft, which would have been the alternative to the sale. And finally, the sale will provide American with valuable and profitable feed traffic.”
Eagle has entered the agreement with Joaqu’n Bol’var, a Puerto Rican businessperson and Chairman and CEO of the Water Club Hotel and the Excelsior Hotel, both in San Juan. Mr. Bol’var also founded Executive Air Charter in 1979, and owned Puerto Rico’s largest chain of travel agencies, Bithorn Travel, from 1990 to 1999.
The transaction will include a marketing partnership under which Executive will continue to provide feed traffic to American - but using its own designator code, rather than American’s - to and from San Juan and the American Airlines hub in Miami. Its operations will use the AmericanConnectionsm service mark, a service mark licensed by American to independent regionals that provide American with feed. Financial details regarding the sale were not released.
“An ongoing relationship with Executive was very important in evaluating the sale,” commented Bowler. “Executive really has an outstanding group of employees. They’ve done a terrific job of providing safe and reliable service to Eagle customers in Florida, the Bahamas and the Caribbean.
“While we’re sorry that we have to take this step, we are pleased to be able to sell this airline to the man who founded it over 20 years ago,” concluded Bowler.
Gary Ellmer, Executive Airline’s current president, will remain at Executive after the sale. Ellmer joined American Eagle in 1999 as regional vice president of its Northeast region, after Eagle acquired Business Express Airlines, where Ellmer served as president and chief operating officer.
Executive began scheduled air service in the Caribbean in 1985, taking over routes from Prinnair after that regional airline went out of business. In September 1986, Executive was awarded an American Eagle franchise service agreement, and the regional carrier began coordinating its flights to enable its passengers to connect with American Airlines flights into and out of San Juan. In December 1989, AMR Eagle Inc. purchased the stock of Executive Airlines. Today, Executive flies as American Eagle in Florida, the Bahamas and the Caribbean, but the airline manages its own operation, closely coordinating scheduling and other functions with American Eagle and American Airlines.
American Eagle currently offers more than 1,400 daily flights to more than 130 cities throughout the United States, Canada, the Bahamas, Mexico and the Caribbean. American Airlines is the world`s largest carrier. American, in concert with American Eagle and the AmericanConnection regional carriers, makes up the American Airlines network. Together, they serve more than 250 cities in 41 countries and territories with approximately 4,400 daily flights. The combined network fleet numbers more than 1,100 aircraft. Only American provides More Room Throughout Coach for More Coach Passengers. American Airlines is a founding member of the oneworld alliance.