Regional airline business sold

An airline which is headquartered at Humberside Airport and also operates from Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) has been sold.

Regional airlines Eastern Airways has been sold by owners Bristow Helicopters to Orient Industrial Holdings Limited.

Eastern, which operates from several UK airports, employs more than 400 people and provides scheduled flights as a franchise partner of Flybe, specialist oil and gas contracts, corporate shuttles for blue-chip companies and ad hoc private charter services.

The company was founded in 1997 to replace a service from Aberdeen to Humberside after Netherlands-based KLM withdrew from the route. It is headquartered at Humberside and operates services between Southampton and Aberdeen to and from LBA.

Eastern’s managing director, Tony Burgess, said: “Back as an independent operator, we will focus on opportunities to enhance and grow this business.

“We will continue to work in close partnership with Bristow Helicopters in the UK providing fixed wing operations to support the North Sea oil and gas sector.”

Eastern’s legal advice was provided by a multi-disciplinary team at regional law firm Andrew Jackson Solicitors, which was led by corporate partner Philip Ashworth, who was supported by Nicole Waldron (corporate), Fiona Phillips (tax) and Mark Davies (banking); Bristow was advised by the London office of DLA Piper.

Philip Ashworth said: “We are delighted to have helped to advise on this transaction for the aviation industry and we wish Eastern Airways every success for the future.”