Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Airlines

Saudi Carrier Flynas Hires Goldman, Morgan Stanley for Potential IPO Next Year

2 months ago

Saudi Arabian low-cost carrier Flynas has hired Goldman Sachs Group, Morgan Stanley and Saudi Fransi Capital for a potential initial public offering on the Saudi Exchange (Tadawul), according to a Bloomberg report.

Flynas expects to go public next year. Earlier reports had suggested that Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund — Public Investment Fund (PIF) had been in talks to buy a stake in Flynas.  

This week, the airline announced taking delivery of three Airbus A320neo aircraft, further upscaling its fleet to 63 aircraft.

The airline has an ambitious expansion plan under the objective of connecting the world to the Kingdom, and in parallel with the objectives of Saudi Arabia’s National Civil Aviation Strategy to increase the number of international destinations linked to the Kingdom to 250.

With the latest deliveries, Flynas has more than doubled the size of its all-Airbus fleet by more than 100% in less than two years, increasing its A320neo aircraft by more than 73% to 46 aircraft. The fleet also has four A330 wide-body aircraft.

The airline signed a $3.7 billion agreement with Airbus for 30 new A320neo aircraft this June, as part of an order of 120 Airbus aircraft and approval to increase new orders to 250.

On December 1, the airline launched its newest operation base at Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madinah with flights to 4 international destinations — Dubai, Amman, Istanbul and Ankara as well as two domestic flights to Abha and Tabuk.

Flynas now flies to a total of 10 destinations from its Madinah base, including Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and Cairo.

Since its inception in 2007, Flynas connects over 70 domestic and international destinations, operating a schedule of more than 1,500 weekly flights. The airline aims to expand its reach further, targeting a network that spans 165 destinations in total.

Business Travel

TripActions Secures $400 Million in Credit Facilities

1 year ago

Corporate travel agency TripActions this week secured $400 million in credit facilities from Goldman Sachs and Silicon Valley Bank, which it said it will use to “accelerate the expansion of its customer base.”

The credit facilities consist of a warehouse debt facility from Goldman Sachs Bank USA, as the senior lender and administrative agent, with a $200 million commitment ($300M total program limit) and an asset-backed lending facility of $100 million led by Silicon Valley Bank.

TripActions said the warehouse facility will enable the continued growth of its corporate card and expense management solution, TripActions Liquid. “With this new warehouse facility from Goldman Sachs, TripActions Liquid is well positioned to support its customers while continuing to innovate at a rapid pace,” said executive vice president Michael Sindicich, head of TripActions Liquid, in a statement.

The corporate travel agency’s latest financial dealings follow October’s raising of more than $300 million. That involved a combination of $154 million in equity from new and existing financial investors, plus a $150 million structured capital transaction led by Coatue.

The company also last month bought Spain’s Atlanta Events & Corporate Travel Consultants, its fourth acquisition in 18 months.

Meanwhile, there’s still no news on a potential initial public offering to further fund the business.

Short-Term Rentals

Awaze Put Up For Sale at $2 Billion by Private Equity Owner Platinum — Report

1 year ago

The owner of European vacation-rentals business Awaze is looking for a sale, according to a media report.

U.S. private equity firm Platinum Equity created Awaze after buying a selection of rental businesses from Wyndham Worldwide in 2018. The deal was worth $1.3 billion, and its collection at the time included Novasol, Cottages.com, James Villa Holidays and Landal GreenParks.

Now Sky News has reported that Platinum Equity has appointed Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to oversee a strategic review of Awaze — with a price tag of up to $2.14 billion. A sale is being sought within the next 12 months. However, in June another report suggested a sale could take place by the end of this year.

Awaze itself has been buying up other players. In 2021 it bought Bornholmtours, Amberley House and Portscatho Holidays, Quality Cottages and Quality Unearthed.

Awaze CEO Henrik Kjellberg said bookings were “holding up well over winter both in terms of volume and price,” in a Financial Times report on Monday. “Even in the event of a recession, I expect the travel industry will still perform well”.

With Airbnb among the potential suitors for the Wyndham rental brands back in 2017, could it now return to the table as the short-term rental market recovers afters the pandemic?