Group Including Bridger Leadership to Buy Ansett Flight Training

    Ansett Aviation Training, a global flight simulator training organization that was once part of Australia’s second-largest domestic airline is set to be sold to a new consortium if Australian regulators agree to the pending sale, valued at over 100 million dollars.

    The consortium aims to purchase Ansett Aviation training consisting of the leadership of Montana-based Bridger Aerospace, Virgin Airlines Australia owners Bain Capital and Australian-based Arcadia Capital.

    Ansett Aviation Training is the sole surviving business entity of Ansett Airways that spectacularly went bankrupt in March of 2001, stranding passengers and leaving thousands without jobs after the 65-year-old airline ceased operations overnight. The company’s training arm, which grew out of the company headquarters in Melbourne was however spared as the only entity that was able to turn a profit as the company folded. In 2004 the Ansett Aviation Training company was bought by two Australian businessmen, who continued to operate and build the company, adding investment from Champ Ventures in 2012.

    Bridger CEO Tim Sheehy continues adding value to the Bridger Aerospace portfolio with the recent addition of Ansett Aviation Training as part of a consortium. Photo by Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

    The company went on to add flight training centers in Brisbane, Australia, Taiwan, and Italy over the years, operating flight simulators for the Boeing 737, Airbus A320, Beechcraft Kingair models, Fokker 100, and Viking/Canadair CL-415.

    David Garside, CEO of Ansett Aviation Training, said while providing a comment to Australian Aviation magazine that the announcement was “an important next step” in the company’s ongoing response to the “challenges” of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “Due to COVID-related disruptions our business had become over-levered, and our assets under-utilized,” Garside said.

    “We need further assistance to recover and believe that with the financial and strategic support of ATP we will be well placed to prosper long-term. We welcome the agreement with Aviation Training Partners and will work closely with ATP to implement it.”

    “As the launch customer of the CL-415EAF, the leadership of Bridger Aerospace (BA) is thrilled to be part of the Aviation Training Partners consortium.”  said Tim Sheehy, CEO of Bridger Aerospace when asked by AerialFire Magazine to comment on the purchase, “Our goal is to seek every opportunity to enhance the safety and effectiveness of the CL series of aircraft. We believe the partnership with Ansett Aviation Training will expand and strengthen our training standards to provide our customers with exceptional aerial firefighting operations. We must deliver on our mission to protect life, property, and habitat.”

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