Excel Ireland to break even in its first year

2006-09-04

The Irish Independent reports Excel Airways will invest €50m in its new Irish charter carrier, which starts operating next summer. The €50m (?34m) will primarily be used to buy a Boeing 737-800 aircraft, the start-up’s managing director, Bill Smith, told the paper.Excel Ireland will focus chiefly on the mid-haul market, Smith said, which has ‘virtually been abandoned by the scheduled airlines’. Mid-haul services to destinations including Egypt and Bulgaria will account for about 70% of its business. In total the airline expects to carry c65,000 passengers in its first year, or about 8% of the 800k summer charter market out of Ireland.But according to Smith it has ambitious expansion plans, and ‘within five years expects to be the top broking airline in Ireland’. He added Excel was confident the Irish venture would ‘break even in year one’ and become ‘very profitable’.Excel is owned by Icelandic transport investment group Avion, whose other interests include Air Atlanta Icelandic, French charter carrier Star, flight broker Freedom Flights and tour operators Aspire Holidays and Travelcity.