Odyssey Airlines, the new UK-based business-only carrier, announced today the unveiling of a crowdfunding campaign on U.S. platform Crowdfunder. It will run concurrently alongside with a similar funding on the UK-based platform Crowdcube, which launched earlier this month, with the combined initiative targeting £5 million to support the company’s new phase of development. The company also confirmed the appointment of Virgin Atlantic founder David Tait and Dragonair founder Stephen Miller to its executive team.
As previously reported by Crowdfund Insider, the airline company is seeking to provide stress-free, premium class travel from the heart of London to any destinations in North America, Middle East and Europe. Although its main market will be the typical business traveller, the airline will also provide a broad appeal to any traveller, from business to leisure, who is looking for a very different experience.
The former Goldman Sachs banker, Adam Scott, who has a strong entrepreneurial track record and aviation experience, leads Odyssey Airlines. He has assembled a management team steeped in airline experience including past executives and founders of other airlines.
Mr. Scott stated, “Launching a crowdfunding initiative in the U.S. is an obvious step for Odyssey Airlines. The U.S. crowdfunding market is the most mature for this type of financing and is complemented by a massive appetite for innovative startup investment. We are making good progress with our Crowdcube raise in the UK but have received significant interest in our business from the U.S. and have launched this platform to give U.S. investors an accessible means to invest. Crowdfunder will expose Odyssey Airlines to a diverse and knowledgeable investor base.”
Odyssey has a successful track record for raising funds via peer to peer (P2P) lenders, have engaged Freedman & Partners to raise £2.185 million via the ThinCats platform in 2013, in what was already believed to a world record for a non-property related peer to peer loan.
The raise comes ahead of a significant institutional fund raise schedule for the first half of 2015 – some twelve moths ahead of Odyssey commencing operations from London City Airport, initially to points on the U.S. east coast. The company plans to launch the first and only non-stop transatlantic services from London City in mid-2016. It aims to deliver stress-free, business class travel, from the heart of London to destinations in North America, the Middle East, and elsewhere in Europe, for the time conscious traveller.
Also, Odyssey Airlines is among the first buyers of the revolutionary Bombardier C-Series aircraft, whose unique construction and advanced combustion technology engines will enable the only non-stop range from London City Airport to New York. The company’s C-Series aircraft will have forty fully lie-flat seats and provide business class customers with a unique service to destination within an eight-hour flying time of London.
Coinciding with the launch of the Crowdfunder campaign, Odyssey Airlines has announced the appointment of David Tait OBE to its Executive team. David has worked in aviation for 40 years and is regarded as one of the world’s leading experts in developing airlines and brand-building. He is best known for his pivotal role in founding Virgin Atlantic Airways with Sir Richard Branson. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II recognized David’s achievements in 2001 when he was awarded an OBE for “Services to British aviation in the USA.”
Commenting on his appointment with Odyssey, Mr. Tait said, “Nothing gives me greater delight than getting involved with a new and disruptive aviation business model, especially when it’s one that I have been advocating for many years. Adam Scott has put together an impressive team and developed a solid, credible and timely business plan. I can’t wait to get started with Odyssey and for the launch of services in 2016.”
Mr. Scott added, “David Tait brings an unrivaled level of experience, drive and endorsement for our plans, and we are delighted to add him onto our team. With our plans well advanced for the launch of services, starting to the US East coast in 2016, David will be invaluable to a successful introduction of Odyssey Airlines into the North American market.”
Odyssey is also delighted to announce that Stephen Miller has joined the team as Executive Director. Stephen is steeped in aviation experience having been involved in a variety of operations for over 35 years. Stephen is most widely recognized for his role as founder and CEO of Dragonair, flying short and medium haul from mainland China across Asia, taking it from start up to successful business.
More recently Stephen built and ran Oasis Airlines out of Hong Kong and is currently developing Sunrise Airlines in Sarasota. Stephen previously acted in an advisory capacity to Odyssey. Mr. Scott said, “It’s amazing to have Stephen on the team. He has already provided us with deep insight based on his experiences and being able to tap into his knowledge of starting airlines will be invaluable to Odyssey.”
Mr. Miller added,“Since being introduced to Adam and the team I have been impressed with the quality of their business plan, their thoughtfulness about where and how to deliver something different to the market, and their energy to develop something that will shake up what’s currently on offer”.
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