ACC Aviation, the leading UK-based aviation consultancy, with offices in five global continents, reports a more than 20% year on year growth in the first quarter of 2021, despite the harsh impact on aviation brought about by the global pandemic. This follows a 200% year on year growth in charter sales in 2020.

The business has been active internationally in aircraft sales transactions, business advisory and restructuring programmes, together with consultancy projects, including a number in Africa, which has become a leading emerging market for start-up carriers.

Trading highlights for Q1:

  • Sold a B737-400F to Aeronaves Mexico.
  • Arranged the sale of a second B737-400 to Aeronaves for a European based asset owner.
  • Appointed by Canadian North to manage the disposal of two de Havilland Dash 8-100s and the further acquisition of two ATR72 Freighters.
  • Appointed by an Asian carrier to manage the disposal of two PW100 engines
  • Arranged and advised on the pre-purchase inspection and acquisition of three B737CL/NG aircraft.
  • Arranged an ACMI lease of a B737-300 and Dash 8 Q400 for a Central African flag carrier.

Consulting activities included:

  • Retained by a Central African flag carrier to arrange and advise on the financing of its forward (aircraft) orderbook.
  • Engaged by a CIS freight forwarder to develop the business case for developing its own dedicated freighter operations, advising on various financing options.
  • Retained by a West African financial institution to advise on its aviation portfolio strategy. Work covered several airlines under receivership and the warehousing of secured assets into an aircraft financing vehicle.
  • Engaged by a state-backed financier to develop a business plan for a new domestic and regional airline in West Africa.
  • Engaged by a helicopter operator for a feasibility assessment on a new Middle East based helicopter touring business.
  • Engaged by a group of investors to assess the feasibility of developing an aircraft teardown and dismantling facility in North Africa.
  • Concluded engagement by the state shareholder of a flag carrier based in Southern Africa to develop its turnaround and restructuring strategy.

ACC Aviation summarises

Eighteen months ago, our consultancy projects were focused on developing plans for airlines in high growth mode. That unravelled in March 2020, as airlines faced uncertainty brought about by the pandemic. Since the start of Covid-19 our work has largely been segmented into two areas: 1. Helping existing airlines to restructure their business, raise fresh capital, renegotiate financial obligations and offload excess assets in preparation for the future and 2. Supporting new airlines, or those ‘rebirthing’ – to fill market gaps left by incumbent carriers and to take advantage of lower cost aircraft availability, and a fresh balance sheet.

ACC Aviation lauded with business awards

Recognising the business’ strong performance, ACC Aviation was ranked 85th in last month’s Sunday Times BDO national Profit Track 100 Awards. Its special ‘Covid-19 edition’ recognised the impressive past performance of all featured companies, highlighting the contribution they made to the economy and society during the pandemic.  ACC Aviation first entered the Profit Track 100 line up in 2020 and has featured in the Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 since 2013.

ACC Aviation was also welcomed as an FT1000 ranked company for the first time this year, entering the fifth annual edition of the Financial Times’ Top 1000 European companies in 786th place, achieving a notable growth rate of 44.1%.  The 2020 FT1000 spotlights companies that have achieved high growth rates, despite the challenging landscape of the Coronavirus pandemic.

“It has been the most unprecedented of times for commercial aviation and we are not out of the woods yet,” said ACC Aviation CEO Phil Mathews.  “Our 54-strong team, working across five continents, stepped up massively to help airlines with all manner of challenges.  Calling on our diverse areas of expertise we have been able to broaden the support we offer to airlines and financiers.

We are proud to be a partner that airlines turn to for subcontract flying, leasing, as well as aircraft sales transactions and asset appraisals to help them raise capital.

Our evolving expertise has benefitted our business and we are now looking forward to further expanding our portfolio in the second half of this year,” he added.