updated 11/9/2010 4:16:45 PM ET 2010-11-09T21:16:45

CLEARWATER, Fla., Nov. 9, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Avantair, Inc. (OTCBB:AAIR), the industry leader of fractional aircraft ownership and flight hour time cards in the light-jet cabin category and the only publicly traded stand-alone private aircraft operator, today announced financial results for the first quarter of fiscal 2011 ended September 30, 2010.

First Quarter Fiscal 2011 Performance:

  • Operating loss of ($3.6) million and an EBITDA loss of ($2.3) million, compared with an operating profit of $0.2 million and EBITDA profit of $1.7 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2010. This loss is attributed to the Company's strategic decision to accelerate normal fleet maintenance costs in response to stronger sales, an increasing customer base and the forthcoming peak travel season.
  • Total revenue increased to $35.8 million, up 2% year-over-year.
  • Flight hour cards sold increased 21% to 104 from 86 flight hour cards sold during the first quarter of fiscal 2010.
  • Three new fractional shares sold during the quarter and Axis Club Memberships sold increased to 11 from three sold in the first quarter of fiscal 2010.
  • Revenue generating flight hours flown reached a new record of 10,418 hours. This is an 11% increase compared with 9,356 hours in the first quarter of fiscal 2010, and a 7% increase compared with 9,725 hours in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010.
  • Fractional owner hours flown increased to a new record of 8,498, up from 8,172 in the first quarter of fiscal 2010, and 7,827 in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010.
  • Net loss attributable to common stockholders was ($5.2) million, or ($0.20) per share, based on 26.4 million weighted average shares outstanding. This compares with a net loss attributable to common stockholders of ($1.8) million, or ($0.11) per share, based on 16.5 million weighted average shares outstanding for the first quarter of fiscal 2010.

Steven Santo, Chief Executive Officer of Avantair, said, "During the quarter we achieved our goals of expanding our customer base and preparing our growing fleet for enhanced utility and performance. Sales remain strong as evidenced by another record quarter of revenue generating flight hours, and increased flight hour cards and Axis Club Membership purchases. Robust sales growth continues through October with the sale of an additional 38 flight cards.

"As previously announced, we accelerated required maintenance schedules in the fourth and first fiscal quarters. This investment in maintenance as well as the seasonal effect of our fractional owners flying record-high hours during the first quarter limited our operating results. Looking forward, we expect to return to more typical operational ratios beginning in the second fiscal quarter. With the bulk of our maintenance now completed, we are on course to strengthen the availability of our fleet, increase our utility and make substantive financial strides," Mr. Santo concluded.

Conference Call

Chief Executive Officer Steven Santo, Chief Financial Officer Richard Pytak and Chief Operating Officer Kevin Beitzel will host a conference call with the financial community on Tuesday, November 9, 2010, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time to review the Company's financial results and provide a further update on business developments.

Interested parties may participate in the conference call by dialing 1-877-941-1428 (480-629-9665 for international callers). When prompted, ask for the "Avantair's Fiscal 2011 First Quarter Earnings Conference Call." The live conference call will also be webcast on the Company's website at www.avantair.com under the Investors section.

A telephonic replay of the conference call may be accessed approximately two hours after the call through November 23, 2010, by dialing 800-406-7325 (303-590-3030 for international callers) and entering access code 4380320#.

Use of Non-GAAP Measure of Performance

The following table reflects the reconciliation of net loss, prepared in conformity with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) to the non-GAAP financial measure of EBITDA.

The Company believes that the non-GAAP financial measure of EBITDA is useful to investors as it excludes certain non-cash expenses that do not directly relate to the operation of aircraft. This measure is a supplement to accounting principles generally accepted in the United States used to prepare the Company's financial statements and should not be viewed as a substitute for GAAP measures. In addition, the Company's non-GAAP measure may not be comparable to non-GAAP measures of other companies.

About Avantair

Avantair, the sole North American provider of fractional shares, flight time cards and Axis Club Membership in the Piaggio Avanti aircraft, and the only publicly traded stand-alone private aircraft operator, is headquartered in Clearwater, FL, with approximately 450 employees. The Company offers private travel solutions for individuals and businesses traveling within its service area, which includes the continental United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico, at a fraction of the cost of whole aircraft ownership. The Company currently manages a fleet of 55 aircraft, with another 52 Piaggio Avanti aircraft on order through 2013. For more information about Avantair, please visit: www.avantair.com.

Forward Looking Statements

This press release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, with respect to Avantair's future financial or business performance, strategies and expectations. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by words or phrases such as "trend," "potential," "opportunity," "pipeline," "believe," "comfortable," "expect," "anticipate," "current," "intention," "estimate," "position," "assume," "outlook," "continue," "remain," "maintain," "sustain," "seek," "achieve," and similar expressions, or future or conditional verbs such as "will," "would," "should," "could," "may" and similar expressions. Avantair cautions that forward-looking statements are subject to numerous assumptions, risks and uncertainties, which change over time. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and Avantair assumes no duty to and does not undertake to update forward-looking statements. Actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in forward-looking statements and future results could differ materially from historical performance.

In addition to factors previously disclosed in Avantair's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and those as may be identified elsewhere in this press release, the following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from forward-looking statements or historical performance: general economic and business conditions in the U.S. and abroad, changing interpretations of generally accepted accounting principles, changes in market acceptance of the company's products, inquiries and investigations and related litigation, fluctuations in customer demand, management of rapid growth, intensity of competition. The information set forth herein should be read in light of such risks. Avantair does not assume any obligation to update the information contained in this press release.

Avantair's filings with the SEC, accessible on the SEC's website at http://www.sec.gov, discuss these factors in more detail and identify additional factors that can affect forward-looking statements.

© Copyright 2012, GlobeNewswire, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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