Air Partner increases jet card members by 71%

By Doug Gollan, August 27, 2021

Global aviation services group Air Partner says its private jet business continued to surge during the first half of its financial year

U.K.-based jet card seller Air Partner said it will deliver a pre-tax profit of at least £3.7 million for the six months ending July 1.

“We continue to see a strong recovery in our private jets division. The U.K. has exceeded pre-Covid levels over the summer months as we have welcomed a number of first-time private jet flyers, in addition to seeing increased demand from many of our existing customers. The U.S. is also performing very well, with bookings in H1 being higher than before the pandemic due to the strong demand for leisure travel by high-net-worth individuals, which has offset the drop from business travel,” said Mark Briffa, Air Partner’s CEO.

For its JetCard, global bookings were up 46%. New members increased 71% compared to the same period last year. The value of deposits by new jet card members was up 130% over the prior year.

Group charters, predominantly driven by government work, are still at “good levels.”

Air Partner’s Freight division is still carrying out some residual Covid-related activity. The recovery in Safety & Security continues. Baines Simmons and Redline are seeing good demand from both new and existing customers, according to the update.

Recent business wins for Baines Simmons include two new contracts with an international airline and a ferry operator. Redline has seen increased demand for covert testing and training from airport operators in the U.K. as restrictions have been lifted.

Air Partner acquires Kenyon International Emergency Services

Separately, Air Partner acquired the entire issued share capital of Kenyon International Emergency Services Inc. The company is a leader in emergency planning and incident response.

Air Partner will pay up to $11.7 million, on a debt-free, cash-free basis. The initial consideration is $10.3 million payable on completion. Deferred conditional consideration of $1.4 million payable in cash or shares is due after 12 months.

The acquisition is being funded from the Company’s existing cash and debt facilities. Post-transaction, the Group has net cash of £8.3 million, excluding JetCard cash. It has access to a debt facility of £9.5 million.

Canaccord Genuity analyst Gert Zonneveld said, “The Group is well placed to benefit from the long-term growth trends in aviation. Its Charter and Safety & Security divisions will likely perform well as the Group (division charters) emerges from the pandemic.”

He added, “Today’s earnings enhancing acquisition further supports the group’s strategy to diversify its revenue streams and aviation services portfolio in the coming years, and increase its revenue visibility. We reiterate our buy recommendation with a price target of 105p.”

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