Air Charter Service (ACS) started 2023 as it means to go on, announcing the expansion of its North American operations with a new Washington DC office, serving the Virginia and Delaware regions, as well as America’s capital. The new branch will be headed up by Joel Fenn, who has been a member of the ACS team since 2005, working in London, Hong Kong and Miami before moving to the new office.
“Being closer to a customer base is always valuable as it allows us to develop those relationships much further. Washington has always been a strong market for us and having a presence there will help better serve our customers,” Richard Thompson, President of ACS Americas, said, explaining the decision to open the branch.
“Joel and Chris bring a wealth of government and relief charter experience to the office on both the cargo and passenger sides. That knowledge is instrumental in supporting such customers with challenging or urgent charter requirements,” Thompson added. “Having a Washington presence has always been on our office wish list for the USA. It just so happened that we had two such experienced people working for us willing to work in that area. It meant the time was right.”
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The ongoing expansion of ACS’ offices has been aided by what the charter broker sees as its biggest asset: its talent. “We have been so fortunate that our recruitment team have hired some incredible talent over the years who have fuelled that growth,” Thompson said. “Having strength in diversity has also helped us grow and we’ve grown all four of our main divisions: Cargo, Private Jets, Group Charters and ACS Time Critical (formerly Onboard Courier).”
The global aircraft charter provider also sees great potential in the American region, with a positive outlook despite some changes to the norm that occurred in the market during Covid. “It may not be as strong as last year, but there are many parts of the market we believe to have space for growth across all of our divisions,” Thompson stated.
“New and emerging markets for us are helping that. Areas like domestic and international charters have remained steady growth areas for ACS. We’re seeing more demand for onboard courier services, especially when cost comes into play,” Thompson added.
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It’s not just in America where ACS is targeting further expansion of its operations. In France, the charter broker reported an impressive bounce back following the past couple of years which had seen the sector heavily impacted by the pandemic.
“The passenger side of our business has come back really strong – our private jet division has seen almost triple the amount of revenue of last year, with many clients choosing larger aircraft and longer trips as the restrictions have eased all over the world. The figures are up by 94% on 2020 and have surpassed pre-pandemic levels, with a 38% increase compared to the first half of 2019. Our group charter division has seen an impressive growth of 71% on last year’s figures, seeing a real return for the MICE industry and sports travel,” Alexandre Busila, CEO of ACS France, explained back in October.
“The Paris office opened in 2009, so is well-established and has always contributed strong figures for ACS. In 2021 we reorganised the management structure of the operation and it has really paid dividends,” Thompson highlighted. “There is business in every country, state or city, the key is finding the right people to help develop those regions and grow our business there.”