Air Partner: ‘Shockwaves’ Have Hit Bizav Industry
Half-year financial results published yesterday by charter broker Air Partner confirm the widespread perception that the business aircraft charter sector has taken a big hit from the global financial crisis. The UK-based group’s total sales (also including passenger airliner and freight charters) for the six-month period ending on Jan. 31, 2009, were down by 2 percent at £107.1 million ($155.3 million), while profits fell by 17 percent to £3.2 million ($4.6 million). However, at the same time, sales by Air Partner’s “Private Jet” division dropped by 6.7 percent to £24.7 million ($35.8 million) and it sustained a loss of £153,000 ($221,850) after recording a profit of £1.03 million ($1.49 million) in the same period last year. According to a company statement, the losses were in part due to “heavy” fixed costs associated with its own business jet charter operator based at London Biggin Hill Airport. However, it also acknowledged that the downturn in demand that started in November had “sent shockwaves throughout the entire industry” and that it has been “universal” in terms of its impact on regional markets around the world.