« Back's Parent Company, Dart Group, Defies the Markets with Optimistic Pre-Close Trading Update

21st April 2009’s parent company, Dart Group, is set to emerge from the economic downturn in an extremely strong position, according to analysts Collins Stewart.

The prediction comes as Dart Group released its pre-close trading update. The statement highlighted that management expects to deliver full year profits ahead of market expectations with 2009 bookings in line with last year, despite the economic conditions.

Commenting on the buoyant pre-close update, Andrew Fitchie, analyst at Collins Stewart, said: “At, small capacity cuts and last year’s network re-focus on the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey, the Canaries and Sharm el Sheikh, have paid off. Charter income has increased substantially, driven principally by the collapse of XL. is one of a small number of airlines that has traded consistently profitably over recent years. Clearly the outlook for the sector remains uncertain, however’s bookings remain strong.”

Chris Arden, analyst at Arden Partners, also commented: “These results show that the strategy of evolving into an integrated airline/holiday/charter model is working very well and that its longer range routes to the Canaries and Eastern Mediterranean provide great competitive services.”

Philip Meeson, boss at said, “The full Dart Group trading statement is expected in July but we are extremely pleased with the positive reception to the pre-close trading update.

“Throughout the UK, people are still looking for great value leisure products and our offering, whether seat only, hotel or package holiday, plays to this trend perfectly. This is clearly demonstrated by our strong bookings for this year and beyond.

“This past year we have seen excellent growth into brand new destinations whilst our most popular routes are still at the core of our service, providing value holidays and leisure breaks for people to escape the gloom of the UK.”

In recognition of its confident outlook, is continuing its programme of investment in its fleet and destinations including new look interiors for planes, as well as building on its friendly low fare service. With future plans to launch a host of exciting new destinations, it continues to demonstrate its commitment to the regions it serves and its optimism in the future.

New routes as outlined below and a new strap line, “Friendly Low Fares” are all part of the company’s strategy to grow and invest in an even better customer experience.

Headlines for Summer 2009 Bookings to date:

  • 25 new summer routes and 8 exciting new destinations (including Dalaman, Dubrovnik, Newquay, Sharm el Sheikh, Split & Tel Aviv)
  • 1.2m passengers already booked for the season.
  • Summer load factor to date of 38%, marginally higher than this point of last year which was a record summer season with a final load factor of over 80%.
  • Longer distance summer sun destinations such as the Canary Islands, Cyprus, Dalaman, Greek Islands and Sharm el Sheikh proving very popular – over 50% of seats sold already.   
  • Load factors to core destinations such as mainland Spain and the Balearics are also slightly stronger than this time last year.

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