London, 29 May 2014 - Odyssey Airlines, the new UK-based business-only carrier, today announces the launch of a capital raise on US platform Crowdfunder. It will run concurrently alongside a similar raise on the UK-based platform Crowdcube, which launched earlier this month, with the combined initiative targeting £5 million (US$8.4 million) to support the company’s next phase of development. The company has also confirmed the appointment of Virgin Atlantic founder David Tait and Dragonair founder Stephen Miller to its Executive team.
Odyssey’s Crowdfunder investor pitch and funding page went live this morning (Thursday) and can be found on the Crowdfunder website at https://www.crowdfunder.com/odyssey-airlines/about/.
Adam Scott, CEO of Odyssey Airlines, said: “Launching a crowd funding initiative in the US is an obvious step for Odyssey Airlines. The US crowdfunding market is the most mature for this type of financing, and is complemented by a massive appetite for innovative start up investment. We are making good progress with our Crowdcube raise in the UK but have received significant interest in our business from the United States and have launched this platform to give US investors an accessible means to invest. Crowdfunder will expose Odyssey Airlines to a diverse and knowledgeable investor base.”
Odyssey has a successful track record raising funds via peer to peer lenders, having engaged Freedman & Partners to raise £2.185 million via the ThinCats platform in 2013, in what was already believed to be a world record for a non-property related peer to peer loan.
The raise comes ahead of a significant institutional fund raise scheduled for the first half of 2015 – some 12 months ahead of Odyssey commencing operations from London City Airport, initially to points on the US East coast.
Odyssey 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.
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. Odyssey’s C-Series aircraft will have 40 fully lie-flat seats and provide business class customers with a unique service to destinations within an eight-hour flying time of London.
The Company is led by the former Goldman Sachs banker, Adam Scott, who has a strong entrepreneurial track record and aviation experience. He has assembled a management team steeped in airline experience including past executives and founders of other airlines.
Coinciding with the launch of the Crowdfunder raise, the company 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. David's achievements were recognized in 2001 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, when he was awarded an OBE for 'Services to British aviation in the USA'.
Since leaving Virgin, David Tait has held a number of senior positions at Avocet Aircraft, Spitfire Aviation Partners and Air Canada in Montreal. In 2007 he started CONSULTAIT, his own consultancy serving clients in aviation and beyond, supporting the building and development of brands, marketing, customer service and communications; whilst also being an award-winning columnist.
Commenting on his appointment with Odyssey, David 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.”
Adam Scott added: “David Tait brings an unrivalled 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 recognised 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. Adam Scott Odyssey CEO 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.”
Stephen 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”.