Signature Aviation Sees Rising Traffic

 - July 27, 2020, 2:31 PM
While Signature Aviation noted a Covid-pandemic-related decline in overall business in the first half of 2020, the company has seen a rising trend over the past two months as the business aviation sector slowly recovers. (Photo: Signature Aviation)

In its first-half 2020 financial numbers released on Monday, Signature Aviation indicates continuation of a rising trend as the industry recovers from Covid-19 headwinds. The company—which operates Signature Flight Support, the world’s largest FBO chain along with its TechnicAir maintenance business and Epic fuel distributor—saw a 38 percent decline in revenues during the first six months of 2020 as a result of traffic loss from the pandemic (31 percent when adjusted for lower fuel prices). According to FAA data, business and general aviation movements fell by 30 percent over the same period.

Signature said business aircraft flight activity is continuing to improve, with May off 58 percent from the same period in 2019 and June down just 32 percent. By contrast, April activity was down 77 percent year-over-year.

Due to an $80 million stimulus from the U.S. CARES Act (the final $20 million of which is scheduled for delivery by the end of July), Signature said all of its furloughed U.S. employees have been recalled. The $80 million includes a $19 million loan that the company expects to prepay before the end of the year. Signature has also reached an agreement with its lenders aimed at preserving liquidity in its revolving credit facilities.

Even during the crisis, the company is working to increase its network, with an agreement to purchase TAG Aviation’s two Swiss FBOs in Geneva and Sion, Switzerland. More information on that deal will be released shortly.

"As we look forward, I remain confident in the resilience and potential of our market-leading business model, the quality of our network, the strength of our liquidity, and therefore our ability to continue to invest in and grow our attractive and high-return business," said company CEO Mark Johnstone.