The economic slump in Europe hasn’t slowed the growth of Austria’s GlobeAir, the air taxi operator that launched operations in 2008 with a pair of Citation Mustangs. During an EBACE briefing, GlobeAir CEO Bernhard Fragner reported a profit of €200,000 ($260,000) last year and projected further positive results for 2013.
In the five years since its establishment the company has added another nine Mustangs, creating the world’s largest homogeneous fleet of the four-passenger jets. “From the onset we knew there had to be a more efficient way of running a private jet business successfully,” said Fragner. “The shift in the charter market and the resulting downgrading has actually been very beneficial to us. Not only has the VLJ [very light jet] sector in general gained strength, GlobeAir has flourished and I expect that we will continue to grow in the coming three years.”
This year alone, reported Fragner, the company expects to increase revenue flights to 5,500 from 4,600 in 2002. In the first quarter it performed some 1,000 movements, representing a 12-percent improvement over the same period a year earlier. The company’s financial projections for this year call for a profit of €1 million.
Fragner repeatedly alluded to the merits of so-called downsizing in a down market. “The charter market is still declining year-over-year,” he said. “Europe is not recovering, and personally I don’t see it soon.”
Nevertheless, GlobeAir expects to decide by the fourth quarter on a plan to add another five Mustangs to its fleet, improving the economies of scale Fragner cited as so important to the company’s ability to turn a profit after four years of losses. Along those same lines, he said, the company has managed to cut deadhead flying by 30 percent.