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Tampa Bay-Lakeland
Business Observer Friday, Feb. 11, 2011 10 years ago

Avantair loses $4.4 million

Avantair is a private aircraft operator and seller based in Clearwater.

CLEARWATER — Despite a slight increase in revenues for Avantair Inc. (symbol: AAIR), the private aircraft operator and seller based in Clearwater lost $4.4 million in the second quarter of its fiscal year.

Revenues were $36.6 million for the three-month period, up 2% over the year. The gain was the result of a 62% increase in the sale of “flight hour time cards,” which entitle purchasers to a limited amount of private aircraft use.

The company has never been busier, having provided clients with 11,061 hours of revenue-generating flight time during the quarter. But CEO Steven Santo recognizes the need to cut costs to achieve profitability.

“As we make steady revenue gains, we are simultaneously decreasing operating expenses which will translate directly to our bottom line,” Santo said.

To that end, the company completed an accelerated maintenance program in the quarter, which should reduce future operating costs over the next two and a half years.

Despite the loss, Avantair did manage to improve its capital position in the quarter. The company paid down $6.9 million in short- and long-term debt.

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