Air Partner reports busy charter operations as pandemic continues

By Rachelle Harry

Global aviation services group Air Partner said it had a strong start to the financial year, with the unaudited accounts for February, March and April showing expected underlying profit before tax at £6m.

The company reported April as being a “record month”, driven by high levels of coronavirus-related activity in its freight and group charter divisions.

At the end of April, Air Partner had normalised cash in the bank of £13m, excluding significant customer deposits and JetCard cash. The company also had access to a total debt facility of £14.5m, comprising of a £1.5m overdraft and a £13m revolving credit facility, which was drawn down by £11.5m as of May 1.

“We continue to see high demand for our freight services,” a spokesperson for Air Partner said. “Our team was extremely busy in April, notably flying emergency shipments of protective personal equipment (PPE) on behalf of a number of customers, and this is set to continue into May”.

“Group Charter has continued to carry out significant repatriation and evacuation work related to the Covid-19 pandemic, flying people back to their home countries from around the world,” they added.

“In addition, the team is involved in flying agricultural workers into the UK from elsewhere in Europe, and has seen increased demand for corporate shuttles from UK and US customers that value their employees travelling in a more controlled environment at this time”.

Air Partner also said that “as expected”, activity in its private jets, and safety and security divisions was lower than in previous years.

Looking to the future, Air Partner noted: “While the forward order book is encouraging as we head into May and June with demand for Freight and Group Charter services remaining high, visibility beyond this is currently limited.

“However, we are confident that our teams will maximise any opportunities that arise, as has been the case so far this year, and we continue to manage the business for the long term and in the best interests of all stakeholders. Accordingly, we are managing costs tightly across the Group to preserve cash and maintain our working capital.”

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