Air Charter Service (ACS), a leading aircraft charter broker, announced sales of $1.8 billion (£1.3bn) for their year ending 31st January 2022. The company’s largest area was their private jet division, which saw nearly a 40% increase year on year and put it at 20% above pre-pandemic levels.
ACS attributes this growth to its ability to source diverse solutions from the market through its global network rather than being restricted by a limited fleet of aircraft. The company says record numbers of jet cards have been sold with sales 50% higher than pre-pandemic levels and an increase in usage with a doubling of jet card revenues.
Group Chairman Chris Leach said: “At the end of our previous financial year, we predicted that sales would be extremely difficult to maintain at last year’s levels. So, for our team to deliver 45% growth and turn-over $1.8bn, are incredible achievements and the proudest I have felt in the 32 years since I set up Air Charter Service.
Global Variations in Private Jets
ACS told SherpaReport that for private jets they saw variations in requests for different planes around the world. Noting that as demand bounced back in Asia and Oceania, heavy jets remained the most popular jet in terms of number of bookings. In Europe the light jet was most popular with bookings remaining consistent throughout. In the Middle East, Africa & India heavy jet bookings increased during 2020 and 2021 compared to 2019 and in North America turbo-props saw a significant increase in bookings.
ACS offers the Empyrean Jet Card in three different types: Market, Hourly and Capped. Commenting on the overall private aviation market John Castellano, ACS Vice President of Commercial Sales for the Americas explained “There are more first-time customers in the marketplace than ever before. There is a finite number of aircraft available, as well as a finite number of pilots. The entire industry has had to adjust to something they could not have expected or predicted.”
“But I predict another 12-18 months of aircraft availability issues, which is precisely why a customer would want to work with ACS. We advocate vigorously for their interests, and we have the expertise and the relationships to deliver, like we always have.”
The company says it saw strong growth and record sales across all divisions. In addition to private jets, it also sources larger commercial aircraft and arranges freight and cargo transportation.
The company notes that long haul charters arranged by ACS’s Group charter team resulted in revenue growth of 40% year-on-year reaching record levels 10% higher than pre-pandemic. Growth in sport charter business was 35% up year-on-year, and workforce logistics related business continued to be strong contributing more than 150% compared with pre-pandemic levels. Their cargo division continued to experience unprecedented demand for its services, with the well-publicised supply chain issues facing so many industries resulted in high demand for air freight. More recently ACS has arranged charter flights with relief cargo on behalf of its clients in aid of refugees from the war in Ukraine.