Debonair, one of the new wave of European low-fare carriers, is preparing to raise new capital through an international share sale, and also reveals that it is close to obtaining its own airline operator's licences.

The carrier plans to become one of the first UK-based companies to seek a listing on the Easdaq, Europe's more recent version of the USN asdaq automated share-dealing service. Besides raising fresh cash, the move should also give greater clarity to the structure of the company, which was set up in late 1995 operating under a British World Airlines operating licence, with backing from a group of unidentified private investors.

Debonair is now seeking its own full UK air operator's certificate and the equivalent European Union (EU)licence, which will require the company to pass scrutiny of its finances and ownership structure, proving that a majority of shares are with EU nationals.

The airline, based at London Luton airport, has a fleet of six leased British Aerospace 146-200s, with a seventh due in August and two more expected by year end.

Source: Flight International