Key Points:

  • AIP Capital has closed an LP investment in a VIG Partners fund, which controls Eastar Jet, alongside the placement of five new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft; three to be delivered by September 2023 and the remaining two by Q3 2024.

  • Following VIG Partners' recent acquisition of Eastar Jet, a South Korean low-cost airline established in 2007, the fresh investment and aircraft deal are envisioned to extend the airline's reach in the region, leveraging on the international network built around the new aircrafts servicing routes from Seoul to various major cities.

  • The collaboration between AIP Capital and VIG Partners, fortified with the recent aircraft and financial investment, seeks to foster substantial growth for Eastar Jet, emphasizing the Boeing 737 MAX's operational efficiency as the cornerstone of the airline's network expansion.

AIP Capital and VIG Partners Join Forces to Propel Eastar Jet's Regional Expansion

SEOUL — Global aviation asset management and investment firm AIP Capital (“AIP”) has affirmed the completion of an LP investment in a VIG Partners ("VIG") fund which governs Korean budget carrier Eastar Jet, coupled with the positioning of five Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplanes. This endeavor materializes on the heels of AIP's recent partnership pronouncement with Dreamstone Aviation Partners.

Facilitating the airline's scaling strategy in the region, VIG has lately procured Eastar Jet, a Seoul-based economical carrier initiated in 2007, with plans to broaden its flight operations from Seoul to a host of international destinations including Tokyo and Bangkok. As part of the expansion blueprint, three daily services are currently operational between Seoul's Gimpo International Airport and Jeju International Airport, leveraging the new AIP aircrafts as the bedrock of its international linkage.

Expressing gratification over the synergistic role of AIP in Eastar Jet’s growth trajectory post-acquisition by VIG, Jared Ailstock, AIP's Managing Partner, acknowledged the trust endowed by Eastar’s managerial squadron and VIG. He accentuated AIP's pivotal function through its dual role of furnishing five 737 MAX aircrafts and the simultaneous financial patronage, which has retained Eastar Jet in the Boeing operator’s fraternity while paving the avenue for its growth.

Echoing similar sentiments, VIG Partners’ Managing Partner Changhoon Shin articulated optimism towards nurturing their fledgling association with AIP. Shin envisages the quintet of aircrafts to be the cornerstone fostering substantial augmentation, underscoring the Boeing 737 MAX’s operational prowess as the catalyst in this venture.

According to the aircraft delivery itinerary, Eastar Jet welcomed two in August, with one slated for September and the duo to join the fleet in the third quarter of 2024. The legal counsel for AIP in the U.S was Gibson Dunn, while Kim & Chang undertook the advisory role in Korea, and PwC dispensed tax consultancy.