Chris Leach. Photo: Air Charter Service
Air Charter Service’s (ACS) busy cargo arm helped the aircraft charter broker achieve record annual revenues of $1.8bn (£1.3bn), with strong growth and sales across all divisions.
ACS said that its cargo division continued to experience “unprecedented demand”, boosted by its three Chinese offices and the ability to source passenger aircraft for temporary use as freighters.
Commenting on the financial year ending January 2022, ACS said: “The well-publicised supply chain issues facing so many industries resulted in high demand for airfreight, but with a continued capacity shortage, due to the slow recovery of the scheduled passenger market which previously provided between 50%-70% of global air freight capacity, has driven demand towards charter.
“Manufacturers from the automotive, consumer electronics, pharmaceutical and even textile industries have required unprecedented levels of charter capacity.
“Whilst it is expected that cargo demand could drop off at some point as the backlog of goods eases, it is impossible to predict either when this will happen or what the fall in demand will be.”
IACS’s private jet division saw nearly a 40% increase year-on-year. This put it at 20% above pre-pandemic levels, compared with the estimated 7.5% growth in flights for the charter sector as a whole compared to pre-pandemic levels.
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 turnover $1.8bn, are incredible achievements and the proudest I have felt in the 32 years since I set up Air Charter Service.
“As for the future, and given the current climate, my only prediction would be unpredictability. The first two calendar months of 2022 have continued at the same pace as 2021 and with what visibility we have we believe this will continue through Q1 at least.”
Leach continued: “In such a turbulent world, inevitably there will be a point where the market could materially shift for any of our three main divisions.
“However, many of the possible shifts which could potentially impact the results of one division could end up benefiting another.
“So, our approach has been to invest in strengthening all areas of the business and the benefits of those investments will make us a far stronger business going forward as we prepare for all eventualities.”
Air Cargo News recently spoke to ACS about the potential impact of the Ukraine crisis on the air cargo industry and has provided an update on the situation as Ukranian airspace closed.