Loss of army work hits turnover at plane hire group Air Partner

 
Marion Dakers
CHARTER plane firm Air Partner said yesterday a drop in orders from the government has dented takings for the six months to the end of January.

Air Partner said commercial jet revenue fell 11 per cent after the Ministry of Defence took operations in-house, while freight turnover dropped 56 per cent as a government contract ended.

But revenues from Air Partner’s private jets rose 12 per cent due to “improved sales and high quality broking”, the firm said.

The company said it was enjoying growing business from oil and gas companies, as part of its efforts to diversify away from work with the armed forces.

Air Partner also celebrated the sale of its first $1m pre-paid flight time card, which guarantees the holder access to a private jet. Total sales of its JetCard product rose 14 per cent.

Overall revenues declined 15 per cent to £102.1m, while pre-tax profits rose eight per cent to £1.3m, excluding the effects of a one-off credit last year.

Broker Oriel Securities said the figures “were encouraging on a number of fronts”.