Petters Aviation Acquires Charter First

2008-08-04 08:49:00

Petters Aviation Acquires Charter First

  Acquisition Expands Petters Aviation's Presence at MSP, Adds Convenience

                        for Charter First Customers



    MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 4 /EMWNews/ -- Petters Aviation today announced

that it has acquired Southwest Aviation, Inc. (d/b/a Charter First and

operated by Midwest Aviation), a private air charter carrier based in

Marshall, Minn. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.



    Charter First was formed in 1962 and is a Federal Aviation

Administration (FAA) Certified Air Carrier operating a diverse fleet of jet

and turboprop aircraft. The company provides business and leisure travel

services to all parts of the continental United States, as well as Alaska,

Mexico and all parts of the Caribbean. Charter First also offers aircraft

management services and consulting on aircraft acquisition, ownership and

operations for private parties.



    Petters Aviation plans to retain all Charter First employees and

Charter First will continue to maintain offices in Marshall, Minn. Peter

Johnson, Charter First's President and majority shareholder, will continue

with Petters Aviation in the capacity of Executive Vice President and will

oversee and manage the day-to-day operations of this new air charter and

jet management division.



    Jay Salmen, President and CEO of Petters Aviation, said the acquisition

of Charter First complements the company's existing interests in the

aviation sector, creates new revenue streams in both charter service and

aircraft management and will enable Petters Aviation to better use certain

ground-side assets and personnel at its headquarters located on the

airfield of the Minneapolis - St. Paul International Airport.



    "We're thrilled to be adding Charter First to the Petters Aviation

family," said Salmen. "Charter First has built a strong business by

providing outstanding service to charter customers for more than four

decades. Demand for the convenience, flexibility and productivity

advantages of charter service continues to grow and this acquisition

enables us to participate in that growth through both charter operations

and aircraft management."



    Pete Johnson said that the sale of Charter First to Petters Aviation

will further enhance convenience for charter flyers and enlarges the growth

opportunities for the business. "The ability to base our aircraft at the

Minneapolis - St. Paul International Airport and use Petters Aviation

personnel and facilities to grow charter operations will make charter

service originating or ending at MSP even more convenient for our

customers," said Johnson. "In addition, we expect affiliation with Petters

Aviation and Petters Group Worldwide will benefit our longer term fleet

modernization plans, as well as expand our aircraft management

opportunities."



    About Petters Aviation



    Petters Aviation is a division of Petters Group Worldwide and is an

emerging provider of value-added services to the executive and corporate

aviation market. Most recently, the company has entered into a marketing

agreement with Airbus and is working in cooperation with Airbus to further

the marketing and sale of Airbus corporate jets in North America.





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