Global aviation group Air Partner acquires UK based SafeSkys

05 October 2017 3 min. read

Professional services firm Air Partner has obtained ownership of environmental and air traffic control services specialists SafeSkys. The firm, which works with clients in UK and international airports, will also expand Air Partner's consulting and training offering in the aviation safety segment.

With commercial airlines alone anticipating the addition of over 10,000 planes by 2027, airline safety is of paramount concern to cope with the growing demand, and one which the consulting industry can play a major role in supporting. Founded in 1961, Air Partner is a global aviation services group focused on providing worldwide solutions to industry, commerce, governments and private individuals. The group has two divisions‎: a broking division, comprised of air charter broking and remarketing service divisions; and a consulting & training division, which was made up of aviation safety consultancies Baines Simmons and Clockwork Research, as well as Air Partner’s Emergency Planning Division.

Now, the global aviation services group has completed the acquisition of SafeSkys, in a deal funded by Air Partner’s existing cash resources. The addition is aimed at boosting Air Partner’s consulting wing, with SafeSkys employing over 80 trained staff working on site at customer airports, and supplying 16 civilian and military airports across the UK with environmental and air traffic control services. SafeSkys reported revenue of £1.8 million in 2016, and the purchasers expect the agreement to enhance earnings within its first full year of ownership.Global aviation group Air Partner acquires UK-based SafeSkysThe procurement of SafeSkys also presents Air Partners’ consulting subsidiaries with new opportunities and facilities. With cross-selling across the group boosting business, Clockwork Research presently boasts a healthy pipeline of projects.

Baines Simmons, who, in October, were awarded a two-year contract by Leonardo Helicopters to support the development and enhancement of its safety management performance across its UK sites, will provide Leonardo Helicopters with specialist consultancy and training support, drawing on over 16 years of industry-leading experience. Amid this demand, the acquisition of SafeSkys enhances capabilities in aviation safety, while the firm’s Consulting & Training activity delivers a range of newer services such as ICAO 13km Surveys and Wildlife Hazard Management Plans (“WHMP”), which will also present fresh opportunities for cross-selling with different clients.

SafeSkys was founded in 1993 by Richard Barber, who maintained ownership over the following 24 years. Currently the CEO of the company, Barber said of the deal, “I am delighted that we join a global aviation services group which shares our passion for delivering world class customer services and excellence in Aviation Safety. We are confident that Air Partner’s long term strategy and approach, their global office infrastructure, financial strength and transparency will enable us to enhance our offering and develop the business even further.”

Mark Briffa, CEO of Air Partner, meanwhile commented, “I am very pleased to report on an encouraging first half performance with continued progress made as a Group. We are building the company for the long-term, and our strategic objective to create balance between our Broking and Consulting & Training divisions is gaining traction. Our Customer First programme continues to be a key differentiator for us, and has played an important role in both customer retention and new business wins in the period under review. We continue to progress organic and acquisition opportunities that enable us to extend the services and capabilities we offer our global clients. We enter the next six months with optimism that our expectations for the full year will be met.”