Australian entrepreneur Paul Stoddart has sold Australian airline OzJet to Sydney-based HeavyLift Cargo Airlines, which plans to keep the carrier's passenger operations and help it acquire younger aircraft.
Stoddart had a 97.4% stake, says OzJet chief operating officer David Blake. He says the sale was completed on 2 May. "The new investor wants to expand the business," says Blake. He says the plan is to grow OzJet's presence in the ad hoc charter business, particularly its work for the Australian Defence Force.
The new owner has indicated that OzJet will be getting newer passenger aircraft, but has yet to decide on an aircraft type, he adds.
There are no immediate plans for OzJet to operate cargo aircraft, says Blake. But the purchase means Sydney-based HeavyLift, which has been operating dedicated cargo flights from Australia using a foreign air operator's certificate, now has an Australian AOC.
OzJet has a fleet of four Boeing 737-200s and has said it wants 737-300s.
Stoddart's withdrawal from OzJet effectively means he now has more time to devote to his main business, European Aviation, which is a charter operator in the UK that also retrofits and resells aircraft.