Flexibilty and fast reactions key to Air Partner’s record sales

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Aircraft broker and charter specialist Air Partner has attributed its record revenue of £282m for the 12 months to 31 July, up 23% on the prior year, to its "fast response product".

Chief executive Mark Briffa said it was a very impressive set of results in the current economic climate. He said that when confronted with unusual trading circumstances Air Partner was able to take advantage because of its ability to source and supply aircraft quickly.

For example, during the Arab Spring, Air Partner assisted with the evacuation of foreign nationals, transporting 12,000 people over a six-week period. Briffa said its global network of 21 offices was key to coping with this demand.

He said: "It's drilling down to those people who have the contacts and the networks that enables us to source and supply [aircraft] at speed to various governments in order to evacuate people. This is where we have become quite unique."

Chief finance officer Gavin Charles said making sure clients were kept informed was a vital part of the business.

"We are trying to target a fast-response product," said Charles. "We're targeting situations where the client urgently needs something in their production line or their Formula 1 car, for example, as quickly as possible.

"To have regular telephone updates and to be able to contact us electronically reduces their worry and means we can respond even quicker."

However, the company has stressed that its business is about more than one-offs. It has a healthy commercial jet department, a strong business in the US, including a contract to transport the White House press corps, freight services and a private jet proposition.

Going forward, Air Partner plans to cautiously invest in people and new systems to help it increase sales and provide a firm basis for future success.

Charles said: "Although we are cautious about the current economic environment, we are ambitious with the business and determined to grow it as and where economic conditions allow."