Business class only airline Silverjet saw passenger numbers rise 12pc in December as it benefited from the collapse of rival Maxjet.
In its monthly trading update, Silverjet said it had picked up 800 bookings from passengers with tickets on Maxjet services since the company filed for bankruptcy at the end of last year.
Chief executive Laurence Hunt said: “We have booked 800 seats from Maxjet in the past two weeks.
Before Maxjet ceased to operate, our average yield was more than 50pc higher than Maxjet’s and revenue per aircraft was two and a half times higher than Maxjet’s in our first half year of operation.”
However, Silverjet is operating at below its break-even level.
December statistics showed the airline, which has a private terminal at Luton, was operating with 53pc of seats filled, below its target of 65pc.
Mr Hunt said: “At an operational level we should be profitable by March.
“We have proved we can make money with three aircraft and with two more planes in March we should be able to be more profitable.”
He said the company was looking at various routes for the new aircraft including Delhi, Johannesburg and various US cities. The new routes should launch in June.
Maxjet went under after struggling to raise additional finance.
But Mr Hunt said he was confident about the future, having just raised a further £22m funding to pay for Silverjet’s expansion programme.
He added: “Forward bookings remain strong for our New York and Dubai services and yields are ahead of expectations.”