If you follow the airline industry, you may have heard of 777 Partners, a Miami-based investment firm. The company was founded in 2015, and claims to be self-sufficient, not dependent on banks or third-party investors.
Recently the company has been in the news for spending hundreds of millions of dollars buying football clubs (that’s soccer to us Americans). However, for those of us familiar with the airline industry, 777 Partners is probably best known for its stakes in two ultra-low-cost carriers, including Canada’s Flair and Australia’s Bonza. Furthermore, 777 Partners acquires jets on behalf of these airlines.
Well, the investment firm is being accused of doing some pretty shady things, which perhaps sheds some light on recent aircraft repossessions (thanks to @WandrMe for flagging this).
777 Partners has had some Boeing 737 MAXs repossessed.
In March 2023, Canadian ultra-low-cost carrier Flair had four of its Boeing 737 MAXs repossessed. The jets were owned by a leasing firm named Airborne Capital, and 777 Partners was reportedly on the hook for making those payments.
The circumstances surrounding this were unusual, since it’s not normal for an airline to have planes repossessed, aside from when there’s a dire financial situation. The leasing company claimed that payments for these Flair Boeing 737 MAXs had repeatedly been missed.
Flair’s CEO, meanwhile, claimed that the company was “several days” behind on a lease payment, but accused the leasing company of conspiring with competitors to take down the airline:
“We have come in and upset the cozy duopoly, and as a consequence people want us out of business. We do believe there were negotiations going on behind the scenes between one of the majors and the lessor to, you know, hurt Flair by…