Avantair Narrows Losses, On Way to Profitability
Piaggio Avanti fractional provider Avantair is narrowing its losses and on course to reach profitability in the near future, company CEO Steven Santo said yesterday during a quarterly investor conference. In the first three months of this year, the Clearwater, Fla.-based operator increased its year-over-year revenues by 51 percent, to $29.9 million, and decreased its net loss by $2 million, to $5.4 million. Santo said that unlike the other fractional providers, Avantair is actually benefiting from the souring U.S. economy as share owners at competing–and more expensive–programs flock to Avantair since it provides a “better value.” In fact, charter card and demonstration flight revenues at Avantair increased 42 percent and 80 percent, respectively, over last year’s levels. Additionally, the company sold 31.5 shares in the quarter, up from 28 in the same period last year, “while the competing fractional providers barely sold anything so far this year; we’re outselling the competition by four to one,” Santo said. He believes Avantair can achieve profitability when it has 45 “fully fractionalized” (meaning fully sold) aircraft; it currently has 40 of its 42 fractional turboprop twins fully sold out.