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Air Partner upgrades outlook on private jet demand

·Reporter
·2-min read
Flying with the airline based in Greece, Aegean Airlines, a member of Star Alliance. Aegean is flying an entire Airbus narrow body fleet and has a subsidiary airline, Olympic Air that flies turboprops. Aegean has a fleet of 49 airplanes and serves 81 destinations. The main hub is Athens International Airport, Larnaca Airport in Cyprus and Thessaloniki Makedonia airport in Greece. Aegean ordered in March of 2018, 42 new Airbus planes, a deal worth of 5 billion dollars. (Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
During the pandemic, the ultra-rich hired private jets from the firm to go away on their holidays, which helped offset revenue lost from business travellers. Photo: Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Aviation services group Air Partner (AIR.L) has lifted its outlook for the full-year amid increased demand for private jets.

The company now expects performance for the 12 months to 31 January to be “materially above market expectations”.

Last year, the company reported a record performance, driven by trading in group charter and freight. Air Partner said it expected this level of activity to decrease as the pandemic eased, however, it has “continued to perform strongly”.

During the pandemic, the ultra-rich hired private jets from the firm to go away on their holidays, which helped offset revenue lost from business travellers.

The business runs a private jet travel card, which allows customers to load these up in a similar way to how public transport users can use an Oyster card in London.

Customers can buy flying hours and then book a private jet with just one day’s notice and use the hours they have accrued.

Shares in Air Partners rose in London on the back of the news. Chart: Yahoo Finance
Shares in Air Partners rose in London on the back of the news. Chart: Yahoo Finance

However, the recent recovery in the general aviation sector as COVID-19 travel restrictions ease across the globe, has meant a fall in profit on the back of lower revenue.

For the six months to 31 July, pre-tax profit dipped £3.5m from £8.9m last year as revenue fell 8.2% to £33.6m.

The company, which last week unveiled new contracts in its safety and security division, declared an interim dividend of 0.85p per share, an increase of 6.3%.

Read more: Travel stocks rally as Joe Biden hints at restarting flights to Europe

"I am extremely proud of the progress we have made in the first half of this year, following on from record results last year,” Mark Briffa, chief executive of Air Partner, said.

“Our vision to build a portfolio of diverse aviation services that smooths earnings and builds out our customer offering is clearly progressing, with all four products - group charter, private jets, freight and safety and security - making a significant contribution to these results.”

Shares climbed 1.2% in London on the back of the news.

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