Gama Aviation recorded a hike in revenues and operating profit in 2017 – mainly as a result of a robust performance from its US division – and is anticipating continued growth in 2018 and beyond as it seeks to become “the global leader in business aviation services”.
Farnborough, UK-headquartered Gama posted revenues of $207 million for the 12 months ended 31 December 2017: 5.8% higher than the previous year. Operating profit leapt by 28.3%, to $18.7 million.
The strength of the company's US division is largely attributable to its thriving aircraft management and charter business. This was bolstered in January 2017 by the merger of Gama's US management and charter arm with the Landmark Aviation unit of fellow UK business aviation services company BBA Aviation. Operating under the brand name Gama Aviation Signature, the venture is now the largest management and charter company in the USA, with a fleet of around 200 aircraft.
Gama Aviation Signature is also reaping the benefits of its partnership with fast-growing membership programme Wheels Up. The New York-headquartered company was launched in 2013 on the back of a record order for 105 Beechrcraft King Air 350i twin-engined turboprops, and appointed Gama to operate its branded fleet. Wheels Up has taken delivery of around 80 350is to date, as well as a handful of pre-owned Cessna Citation Excel/XLSs.
“Strategically this is an exciting time for Gama Aviation,” says company founder and managing director Marwan Khalek. He points to a recent fundraising effort, which secured £48 million ($67 million) to help fund Gama’s expansion.
The investment will be targeted at opportunities in its existing territories – including Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the USA – as well as in new markets. “We will grow the business through a mix of joint ventures, organic growth and acquisitions,” says Gama.