By Alexander Britell
There’s a new power player in Caribbean aviation.
Fort Lauderdale-based airline Silver Airways has acquired San Juan-based Caribbean regional airline Seaborne Airlines in what could be a transformative move for the region’s air sector.
Silver has closed on the acquisition of Seaborne’s business and assets, creating an airline that will serve the Caribbean, Bahamas and Florida.
The deal brings together two regional players — Silver, which has been operating a network of flights in Florida and most of The Bahamas, and Seaborne, which has long been one of the leaders in Caribbean air travel.
For now, Silver will operate its Bahamas-Florida network under the Silver banner, while Seaborne will retain its name for Caribbean routes.
The total company fleet will now number 31 aircraft, including Saab 340 and Havilland Twin Otter seaplane aircraft.
Silver is also set to deploy a new fleet of state-of-the-art ATR 600s across both networks, the company said.
“I am thrilled to welcome the Seaborne team members to the Silver family as together we create one of the nation’s leading independent airlines in a transaction that will benefit our guests, team members, and the communities we serve, as well as both airlines’ valued codeshare and interline partnerships with most major U.S. carriers,” said Silver Airways CEO Steve Rossum. “This transaction brings together two strong and historic independent airlines with amazing employees, an excellent track record of operational safety, respect for our people and our communities, and great service for our passengers.”
The merger of the two airlines’ operating functions, joint branding and streamlining of the guest experience is expected during the next year, according to the company.
Rossum will continue to serve as CEO of the combined airline, which will employ nearly 1,000 aviation professionals, headquartered at Silver’s office in Fort Lauderdale.