On announcing its half year results, UK public company Air Partner Plc (London Stock Exchange: AIR) said the number of new JetCards sold is up 50% on the prior period. They expect the increased interest to continue due to the safer environment offered by private aviation. In particular the company experienced exceptional levels of trading from COVID-19 related work in their Group Charter and Freight divisions.
The half year results for the six months ended 31 July 2020 showed statutory profit before tax up 218% at £8.9m. A large part of this work was supporting COVID-19 repatriation and evacuations and PPE transportation in the early part of the pandemic. CEO Mark Briffa notes "In addition, we also received a large number of bookings for corporate shuttles, as companies in the UK and US sought to safeguard their employees in the COVID environment. "
For the first half their private jets business was down delivering gross profit of £4.6m (H1 2019: £6.0m), as it was affected by border closures, travel restrictions, national lockdowns and quarantines. However, looking at future private jet travel, the US business had double the level of enquiries in May compared to April, and JetCard enquiries in Europe also increased. The Air Partner JetCard saw strong sales for the month of June, "to the degree that more cards were sold globally in the first half of this year than in the entirety of our last financial year," noted Mark Briffa.
"Private Jets enquiries and activity have been steadily returning and we anticipate this will continue," added Ed Warner, Non-Executive Chair.
"Corporates and high net worth individuals are looking to private aviation solutions to enable more effective social distancing," said Mark Briffa and added "As the world emerges from lockdown, we have started to see signs of recovery, as private aviation offers a safe solution to those needing to travel."
Air Partner has 16 locations globally, with its headquarters located alongside Gatwick airport in the UK. The group employs over 400 aviation professionals globally and operates 24/7. Air Partner is listed on the London Stock Exchange (AIR) and is the only publicly listed air charter broker and aviation safety & security consultancy.