Air Freight News

Global network and diversification fuels record results at Air Charter Service

Aug 25, 2021

The world's leading aircraft charter broker, Air Charter Service (ACS), has achieved record results with sales in excess of $1.2 billion (in their financial year ending January 2021). The Covid-19 pandemic presented a unique set of logistical challenges for many organisations and individuals, as the world's scheduled air network fell into chaos due to ever-changing travel restrictions and demand for urgent transportation of medical supplies. A combination of ACS's diversification strategy, global network of offices and experience in crisis situations put the company in a position to deal with a completely unprecedented demand for its services.

Whilst all three of ACS’s core divisions of private jets, group charters and cargo saw year-on-year increases, the bulk of its growth was driven by the company’s cargo division. With up to 80% of air freight usually travelling in the belly of scheduled passenger aircraft, the cancellation of so many passenger flights meant that cargo charter solutions were needed to compensate, and ACS was in one of the strongest positions to provide them. This was particularly a consequence of the company’s decade-old investment in the Chinese market from where a large amount of goods including PPE and test kits and, later on, more general cargo from reopening factories were being exported through often overwhelmed airports. ACS's diverse business also proved invaluable at the peak of the crisis when the demand for shipping goods by air exceeded the capacity of dedicated freighters, as its group charter division stepped in to source passenger aircraft for use in transporting cargo using their holds as well as goods being transported in the cabin. 

The company’s passenger divisions both had turbulent years with highs and lows as the pandemic progressed. Although initially during the evacuation phase ACS’s global network lead to unprecedented demand for our services, lockdowns resulted in the collapse of business travel and major events such as the European Championships during certain periods which resulted in significant reduction of demand. However, a concerted effort to target new audiences resulted in a record number of new customers being converted which normalised demand towards the end of the year.  ​

ACS CEO Justin Bowman said of the results: "Due to our businesses in China, we had been dealing with the Covid-19 outbreak since January 2020. At that stage, we were extremely concerned at what it would mean for the aviation industry and our business. However, we are a business that was born out of dealing with crises and our global infrastructure and diversified business model, along with our remarkable team of people, came together to achieve a quite incredible result for any single charter broker. We had to radically change the way we worked, the audiences we were targeting and the aircraft we were chartering last year - and everyone here seems to have taken it in their stride.

"Whilst these results are unlikely to be achieved again this year, they have allowed us to re-invest heavily in the business across a number of exciting strategies which are already generating returns. Some of these are already helping us to beat even our most optimistic forecasts for the current financial year, and we expect others to provide potentially exciting returns in the longer term."

Similar Stories

https://www.ajot.com/images/uploads/article/IAG-cargo-stock_warehouse.jpg
IAG Cargo opens applications for London-Heathrow based apprenticeship scheme
View Article
Saudia Cargo extends ULD management partnership with Unilode for a further five-year term

Unilode Aviation Solutions, the market leader in outsourced unit load device (ULD) management, repair and digital services, is proud to announce the extension of its ULD management partnership with Saudia…

View Article
China Airlines Finalizes Order for Up to 24 Boeing 787 Dreamliners

Boeing and China Airlines announced they have finalized an order for up to 24 787 Dreamliners, as the carrier invests in the fuel-efficient widebody to expand passenger and cargo operations.

View Article
Jet fuel premiums skyrocket as New York, Gulf supplies sink

Jet fuel premiums are skyrocketing in New York and Houston as low inventories stoke concerns of a supply pinch.

View Article
https://www.ajot.com/images/uploads/article/WFS_air_cargo_handlng_operation.jpg
WFS to be acquired by SATS to create the preeminent global air cargo handling platform
View Article
https://www.ajot.com/images/uploads/article/Cathay_cargo_plane.jpg
Cathay in talks with Boeing, Airbus to refresh aging cargo fleet
View Article