Canada Jetlines Prepares for Takeoff: Announces Stan Gadek as Chief Executive Officer Tapping 20-plus Years of Airline Leadership Experience
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, Canada Jetlines Ltd. (TSX-V: JET) (the “Company” or “Jetlines”) today announced that its Board of Directors has implemented changes to its leadership team and appointed Stan Gadek as Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Jim Scott. The changes, which are designed to help accelerate the Company’s strategy of becoming Canada’s first genuine ultra-low cost carrier, take effect immediately.
“Mr. Gadek is a welcome addition to the Canada Jetlines management team, bringing significant experience in the start-up and operation of an ultra-low cost carrier airline,” said Mark Morabito, Executive Chairman. “His experience in aircraft leasing, customer service, cost management, financial planning and strategic decision making will be invaluable to the execution of the Jetlines’ business plan.”
Mr. Morabito added, “Mr. Scott was instrumental in the early-stage growth of the Company, and created a strong foundation for Mr. Gadek to continue executing its business plan through the completion of the launch financing and preparation for commercial airline operations. Mr. Gadek has an excellent track record of success in the airline industry, and will bring his experience to bear in the Company’s successful launch.”
Mr. Gadek is a skilled senior airline executive who served as President, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Sun Country Airlines, a Minneapolis-St. Paul-based scheduled service and charter airline operating Boeing 737 aircraft.
Under Mr. Gadek’s leadership, annual revenues grew to more than US$400 million. At Sun Country, Mr. Gadek grew revenue and sales, reduced costs and improved customer service, resulting in four consecutive years of profitability. He expanded Sun Country’s network to 34 domestic and international destinations and developed a vacation travel division resulting in additional revenue diversification. Sun Country was ultimately sold to private interests.
Prior to Sun Country, Mr. Gadek was Senior Vice President Finance, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer for NYSE listed, AirTran Holdings. Its primary asset was AirTran Airways with a fleet of 140 Boeing 737 aircraft. While at AirTran, Mr. Gadek led the negotiation of US$4 billion in aircraft orders, including over US$600 million in committed lease financing. In 2011, AirTran was sold to Southwest Airlines for over US$1.3 billion in cash and common stock.
Mr. Gadek has also held executive positions with other carriers including United Express, Continental, and Northwest. Mr. Gadek earned a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from the University of Illinois and a Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Mr. Gadek will relocate to Vancouver and continue to serve as a director of Canada Jetlines. Mr. Gadek has also been granted 375,000 stock options with a five-year term and an exercise price of $0.20, to be vested over a period of twenty-four months.
As one of the founders of the Company, Mr. Scott led it through its early start-up phase. Mr. Scott’s contributions include the development of the initial business plan, completion of early stage financing, managing the airline licensing process, establishing strong relationships with regulatory agencies and government officials, and obtaining the exemption order that permits Jetlines to have up to 49% voting interests held by non-Canadians. Mr. Scott has also resigned as a director of the Company.
“On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Jim for his many contributions to the Company’s progress to date,” added Mr. Morabito.
Jetlines has engaged The Howard Group to advise and support capital markets communications with both traditional and online initiatives targeting the investment community and the investing public.
The agreement with The Howard Group (the “Agreement”) is for one year effective June 1, 2017. The remuneration payable to The Howard Group will be $7,500 per month plus GST. In addition, The Howard Group has been granted 300,000 stock options with a three-year term and an exercise price of $0.20, to be vested over a period of 12 months.
Aside from the grant of stock options, neither Howard Group, nor any of its principals, have an ownership interest, directly or indirectly, in the Company or its securities. The Company will pay the monthly fee from its cash on hand. The Agreement is subject to the approval of the TSX Venture Exchange.
Since 1988, The Howard Group has provided comprehensive investor outreach and capital markets programs, financing assistance, business development solutions and strategic planning to publicly trading companies.
In addition, The Howard Group Inc. will be providing an ongoing commentary on Canada Jetlines’ activities through its “Insight” blog. Interested parties are encouraged to subscribe to the commentary feed: https://howardgroupinc.com/howard-group-blog/.
Effective June 30, 2017, National Equicom will no longer provide strategic investor relations and financial communications services to the Company.
About Canada Jetlines Ltd.
Jetlines is set to become Canada’s first pure version ultra-low cost carrier (“ULCC”) airline. With plans to operate flights throughout Canada and provide non-stop service from Canada to the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean, Jetlines will service the 10 million passenger trips and 30+ secondary airports that go unserved or underserved across Canada. The Jetlines board and management teams are comprised of industry experts with extensive collective expertise in aviation, start-ups and capital markets, successfully receiving an unprecedented exemption from the Government of Canada that will permit it to conduct domestic air services while having up to 49% foreign voting interests.
For more information on Jetlines, please visit our website at www.jetlines.ca.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
“Mark J. Morabito”
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Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information
This news release contains “forward-looking information” concerning anticipated developments and events that may occur in the future. Forward looking information contained in this news release includes, but is not limited to, statements with respect to with respect to: (i) Jetlines’ business objectives, operational timelines, operating cost expectations and investment requirements; (ii) anticipated operational and structural trends in the Canadian passenger airline market; (iii) removal of conditions relating to the completion of the Transaction; (iv) execution of the Transaction Documents; (v) completion of the Concurrent Financing; (vi) receipt of TSXV and shareholder approvals of the Transaction; and (vii) waiver of the sponsorship requirements.
In certain cases, forward-looking information can be identified by the use of words such as “plans”, “expects” or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “budget”, “scheduled”, “estimates”, “forecasts”, “intends”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, or “believes”, or variations of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will be taken”, “occur” or “be achieved” suggesting future outcomes, or other expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, assumptions, intentions or statements about future events or performance. Forward-looking information contained in this news release is based on certain factors and assumptions regarding, among other things, the accuracy, reliability and applicability of the Jetlines’ business model; the timely receipt of governmental approvals, including the receipt of approval from regulators in Canada, the United States, Mexico and other jurisdictions where Jetlines may operate; the timely commencement of operations by Jetlines and the success of such operations; the ability of Jetlines to implement its business plan as intended; the legislative and regulatory environments of the jurisdictions where the Jetlines will carry on business or have operations; the impact of competition and the competitive response to the Jetlines’ business strategy; and the availability of aircraft. While the Company considers these assumptions to be reasonable based on information currently available to it, they may prove to be incorrect.
Forward looking information involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking information. Such factors include risks related to acts of God, the impact of general economic conditions, changing domestic and international airline industry conditions, volatility of fuel prices, increases in operating costs, terrorism, pandemics, currency fluctuations, interest rates, risks specific to the airline industry, the ability of management to implement Jetlines’ operational strategy, the ability to attract qualified management and staff, labour disputes, regulatory risks, including risks relating to the acquisition of the necessary licenses and permits, financing, capitalization and liquidity risks, including the risk that the financing necessary to fund operations may not be obtained and the additional risks identified in the “Risk Factors” section of the Company’s reports and filings with applicable Canadian securities regulators.
Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. The forward-looking information is made as of the date of this news release. Except as required by applicable securities laws, the Company does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking information.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) has reviewed or accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.