Southern Sky Aviation acquires sole FBO at Trent Lott Airport

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Southern Sky Aviation – an aviation charter, maintenance, management and sales company – has expanded its suite of aviation businesses having acquired the sole FBO at Trent Lott International Airport (PQL) in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

The company’s unique background in charter services means Southern Sky Aviation has a comprehensive understanding of the needs of pilots, planes and passengers, which in turn will enable tit to offer a highly-personalised FBO experience focused on exceptional care and services.

“We are excited to launch our FBO services at Trent Lott International Airport,” said Bo Andrews, CEO of Southern Sky Aviation. “We look forward to working with the airport’s director, Carol Snapp, and the airport authority to establish best-in-class services and serve the customers of PQL.”

Donald Howell, President of Southern Sky Aviation, added: “Our strategy from the very beginning was to build a full-service aviation company that included FBO services. Darryl is a great leader and excellent operator that will help us grow our FBO division and deliver outstanding customer service. Trent Lott allows us to bring all of the services we offer to the Gulf Coast aviation community.”

Southern Sky’s acquisition of the FBO facility includes a 4,300 sq.ft. FBO terminal and more than 20,000 sq. ft. of hangar space. The airport is currently closed for a runway resurfacing project that will take the runway to a 275,000-pound dual-wheel gear surface. Southern Sky will use this time to make improvements to the existing terminal building and select hangars, including new branding and a fresh aesthetic for enhanced comfort and function. It will also install a 20,000 gallon Jet A fuel tank to better support the needs of customers.

To coincide with the completion of the runway upgrade, Southern Sky will unveil its updates with a grand re-opening ceremony in October. In the meantime it is prepared to welcome aircraft up to 50 feet that receive permission to land at the Pascagoula hub, during the airport’s temporary closure.

Darryl Brewer, President FBO Division, Southern Sky Aviation, noted, “We are a team that’s passionate about serving the aviation community and waited for the right opportunity to expand into the FBO business. We are honoured to be the official gateway to the Pascagoula region and are ready to serve the airport’s tenants and guests with the utmost consideration for exceptional care, and safe, quality services.”

Falcon Field Airport in Arizona celebrates opening of new Avflight facility

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Having established operations at Falcon Field Airport in Mesa, Arizona in December 2020 Avflight has now opened a new facility at the dedicated business and general aviation hub. The opening ceremony was held during the Arizona Business Aviation Association’s in-person meeting, which was held at the airport at the end of June.

The new facility includes a 5,000 sq.ft. FBO terminal, more than 500 sq. ft. of office space available for leasing and 11,000 sq.ft. of hangar space with plans to expand to accommodate a growing customer base at the Mesa gateway.

Featuring a modern aesthetic in keeping with the Avflight brand, the state-of-the-art FBO terminal features passenger lounges, snooze rooms, showers, a kitchen, a flight planning room and a conference room. Conveniently located on the airport field the Avfuel-branded location allows for direct access from road to ramp with ample parking space.

“The Avflight team is honoured to serve as a premier gateway to Mesa and the greater Phoenix region,” said Garrett Hain, Avflight’s Vice President of finance. “When we moved onto the field in December, we sought to bring our passion for aviation and comprehensive knowledge of aviation services – backed by the resources afforded by a network of 23 premier FBOs – to the FFZ field. Our goal was, and continues to be, to build on the foundation of Falcon Field Airport’s offerings with new facilities and a dedication to customer care. We’re here to be a true, trusted partner, dedicated to supporting the airport’s growing customer base with first-class services and amenities.”


Farnborough offers ongoing supply of SAF for all aircraft

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Farnborough Airport in the UK has partnered with Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel and World Fuel Services to offer sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to all aircraft using the airport.

Having been named the world’s first carbon neutral business aviation airport in 2018, the ongoing availability of SAF at the airport allows the reduction of flying emissions by up to 80% and marks a significant next step in the airport’s work to support the decarbonisation of the wider aviation industry.

“The introduction of SAF at Farnborough Airport is a major milestone in our sustainability programme and we are pleased to be able to offer Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel by working with our fuel provider World Fuel Services,” said Simon Geere, CEO, Farnborough Airport. “We are fully committed to a sustainable future and are delighted to offer our customers the opportunity to make a greener choice and work with us to play an integral part in delivering against the UK Government’s targets for net-zero carbon emissions.”

In line with its status as a carbon neutral airport, Farnborough has reduced its controllable emissions by over 70% over the last 10 years and is committed to minimising its environmental impact and improving environmental performance throughout its operations.

Produced from 100% renewable and sustainable feedstock and residual raw materials such as used cooking oil and animal fat waste, the Neste MY SAF avaialable at Farnborough Airport reduces up to 80% of greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil fuel over its lifecycle.

Commenting on the partnership with Farnborough and Neste, Duncan Storey, Vice President Supply Europe, World Fuel Services said: “World Fuel Services was the first company to have blended SAF in the UK and worked with Farnborough Airport to make SAF available during Europe’s inaugural SAF demonstration at EBACE 2019.”

He added, “we applaud Farnborough’s leadership in sustainability and look forward to continuing our relationship by delivering a regular SAF supply to the airport. World Fuel services remains committed to supporting Farnborough’s sustainability initiatives by providing carbon-reducing options for business aircraft and continuing to aid in the procurement of sustainable fuels.”

Paragon Aviation adds Magnum FBO locations to European network

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Paragon Aviation Group is expanding its presence in Europe with the addition of two Magnum FBO locations in Vienna and Bratislava, alongside nine handling locations across Austria and Slovakia.

“We are extremely proud that our customer service commitment has been recognised by Paragon Aviation Group,” said Florian Samsinger, Managing Director of Magnum FBO. “Our common goal is to accelerate brand-new opportunities to deliver the immense services, making sure our customers can experience and appreciate the value of such an advanced upgrade.”

Established in 2012, Magnum FBO has been serving passengers and crew, offering an array of support services, including customs/ immigration assistance, concierge support, slot coordination and exclusive lounge accommodation.

Megan Barnes, President of Paragon Aviation noted, “As we return back to in-person business transactions and events, we are pleased to have Magnum FBO join our network and provide Paragon customers with a new travel region that instills the same core values as our other members worldwide.” She also stated that “Magnum’s high operating standards and dedication to safety assures travellers a flawless journey no matter which Paragon Network location they visit.”

With more than 100 operations worldwide in 25 countries, the Paragon Network continues to grow. With FBOs in Barcelona, Madrid, Brussels, Zurich, Monterrey, Cape Town, Dubai, Sydney and Paris, much of the predominant business regions are covered. In the US it also offers facilities in Los Angeles, Houston, Detroit, Dallas, Austin, Miami, Chicago, Boston, Seattle, Washington D.C. and New York.

June sees uptick in business aviation activity

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According to the latest Global Market Tracker weekly report from WingX, global business jet activity saw a resurgence in the first half of June, surpassing pre-COVID levels and outstripping cargo growth for the first time.

The report highlights that while lifestyle and occasionally necessity sustained business jet demand during the pandemic, the last few months have seen leisure boost the recovery. This is expected to accelerate through the summer, with the return of at least some business travel taking  bizav utilisation to new highs in 2021 compared to 2019.

With more than 100,000 business jet flights operated so far this month, the sector represents 15% of all fixed wing movements, activity which is 12% higher than in the first half of June 2019.  Meanwhile, scheduled airline activity globally is still languishing with more than 40% below pre-pandemic activity for this time of year.

The US market continues to go from strength to strength with business jet activity in the country so far this year now 1% above the same period in 2019, and the resurgence gathering pace, with the first half of June seeing 20% more business jet movements than June 2019. In Florida business jet departures are now a whopping 30% higher in 2021 than in 2019, with 160,000 departures recorded (more than 10 times the number of business jet movements in the UK) for the same period. Also worth noting is that flights between Florida and New York are up almost 70% on 2019 figures.

Meanwhile, in Europe business aviation activity is also seeing a surge with the first two weeks of June only 6% behind 2019, although overall it is trailing 2019 by 15%. Strong growth continues to be noted in business jet flights in Russia, Greece, across the Balkans and much of Eastern Europe. In Western Europe the outlier is Portugal, with flights above normal for the season.

Elsewhere business aviation activity continues to show strength in Africa, where it is currently 45% ahead of 2019 figures, South America where it is 80% ahead and in the Middle East, where it is 23% ahead of 2019 figures. WingX also notes a clear correlation between range and travel restrictions globally with domestic sectors back to where they were in 2019, whereas international business jet sectors are still down by 20% vs 2019.



Magdeburg City Airport in Germany marks milestone for Air bp’s Airfield Automation

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Magdeburg City Airport in Germany has become the 300th location to complete a fuelling using Air bp’s innovative Airfield Automation digital refuelling technology.

Since launching in May 2018, more than one million fuelling have been processed using Airfield Automation with the technology now live at 300 network locations across 28 countries in four continents. In addition Air bp’s Airfield Automation safe2go technology has been deployed at over 125 locations is a pioneer in the provision of an engineering barrier to actively help prevent misfuelling. It consolidates the data related to airport fuelling operations and verifies fuelling requirements via an app on a handheld device in the fuelling vehicle.

Designed to enhance safety and reliability in airport fuelling operations, Airfield Automation has been well received by operators who have reported increased speed, accuracy and efficiency in refuelling. In Portugal, one of the first countries where rollout took place, the time taken to get fuelling data into the system has been reduced by 95%. Elsewhere, the efficiency Airfield Automation brings to customers is that requests for copies of delivery tickets can be responded to immediately without, in most instances, requiring action from the airport.

“This latest milestone marks more positive news for our customers,” said Olivia Stone, Vice President Technical Services and HSSE, Air bp. “I am delighted that the will be able to benefit from the digitisation of our into-plane fuelling operations making the refuelling process safer, faster and more efficient,” she added.

New services recently added to the Airfield Automation platform provide the opportunity to further enhance efficiency. These include the real-time two-way connection between flight crew and fuel operator during the aircraft turnaround at the airfield, which trials have shown result in a 15-30% reduction in the refuelling time. From receiving the preliminary order through to a revised final order, concluding with an electronic ticket sign off, the service provides instant visibility and more efficient refuelling operations.

“Our latest innovation seamlessly connects pilot with operator, helping to unlock savings by increasing data accuracy, maximising efficiency, and helping to reduce turnaround times. We’re continuing to roll this innovative technology out in countries around the world,” concluded Valerio Ferro, Vice President Sales and Marketing, Air bp.

Wichita’s Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport welcomes expansion of Yingling Aviation

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One of the US’s leading FBOs and MROs, Yingling Aviation is celebrating its 75th anniversary having added more than 50,000 sq.ft. of hangar and office space at Wichita’s Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport. As part of the expansion, the FBO and MRO facility acquired three additional hangars adjacent to the east runway and in close proximity to its existing space.

Yingling President, Andrew Nichols, described the expansion of its ongoing business and operations as an appropriate way to celebrate 75 years in Wichita. “The acquisition of these three hangars comes at an ideal time, not just from a historical perspective, but also a practical one. Our  MRO support of the Citation and King Air models and our FBO activities continue to expand. The addition of these properties will not only allow us to grow the services we offer, they make it possible for us to build lasting partnerships with an increasing number of aircraft owners and operators. This is a win for Wichita, the aviation community, and our Textron Aviation customers,” he said.

Yingling Aviation has been operated by three seperate owners during its three quarters of a century. Vic Yingling founded the company in 1946 and the Yingling family operated it until 1982, when Jerry Vanier, a Salina businessman, took over. On 1 January, 2000, Lynn Nichols purchased the firm, electing to retain the familiar name. In 2001 and 2022 he invested some much-needed capital in renovating the facilities, adding a new Completions hangar in 2005, as well. Under Lynn’s leadership, Yingling expanded its facilities and services dramatically, offering air charter services, aircraft modifications, aircraft interior completions, refurbishment, and repair, avionics installations and repairs, aircraft sales, expanded hangar capacity for locally-based and transient aircraft, and both piston and turbine engine fuel sales.

In 2020, Yingling completed a major upgrade featuring the newly acquired 50,000 sq. ft. facility, which supports a full-service paint facility and interior completions facility. Today, the company’s footprint now consists of more than 250,000 sq. ft. of facilities and approximately 500,000 sq. ft. of ramp space.

Ben Gurion Airport in Israel welcomes ExecuJet FBO

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ExecuJet, which is part of the Luxavation Group – one of the largest business aircraft and helicopter operators worldwide, is opening an FBO facility at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Managed in partnership with Flyeast, an Israeli aviation and tourism company, the FBO will be part of the luxury Fattal Terminal at Ben Gurion Airport. Services offered will include VIP processing, supervisory aircraft handling, concierge services, flight arrangements and charter solutions.

“We’re now finalising key project elements such as passenger flow within the VIP passenger lounge within the Fattal terminal. We’re planning to deliver the highest service levels to our many valued clients,” said Mike Berry, ExecuJet’s President Aviation Services and Vice President Middle East.

He added that the “man behind the terminal, David Fattal is already globally respected as a hospitality expert. He owns Fattal Hotels, which operates over 200 hotels across 19 countries.”

Alongside the FBO project, ExecuJet is working with Flyeast to establish a charter business unit in Tel Aviv, which says Berry, “will be seen as an extension of our global charter network and generate flights for the group and the local business.” The FBO facility in Tel Aviv enables ExecuJet to capitalise on increased traffic in the region due to the treaty signed in 2020 by Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“Despite the challenges facing the global aviation industry, at ExecuJet we continue to concentrate on innovation and the expansion of our outstanding services across the Middle East and, indeed, the world,” concluded Berry.

Lancaster Airport celebrates opening of new LNS Alliance Aviation FBO

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LNS Alliance Aviation – the sole full-service FBO at Lancaster Airport is opening a brand-new 6,700 sq. ft. two-storey facility at the Pennsylvania hub.

Featuring a bright, natural aesthetic finished with mid-century-modern inspired fixtures and furnishings the FBO was designed and constructed with the needs of discerning travellers in mind. Private aviation customers can make the most of an inviting lounge featuring a wall of windows overlooking the ramp; access to free hot drinks; an expansive pilot lounge and games room; two pilot snooze rooms with lounge chairs; a shower; a flight planning office complete with computers and printers; a courtesy car and several office spaces.

In addition to its new facility, the full-service FBO also offers hangar space on an as-needed basis, as well as reliable aircraft services, including aviation fuel supplied by Avfuel, aircraft parking, GPU and preheating, de-icing and concierge services.

“It has been our pleasure to serve general and business aviation traffic at the Lancaster Airport since 2008,” said Mary Forney, General Manger of LNS Alliance Aviation. “To now welcome traffic to our brand new facility is beyond words. We’re excited to offer the level of amenities only matched by our level of service to provide an exceptional gateway to the Lancaster community.”

Jetex adds new locations in Argentina, Colombia and Peru to global network

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Jetex has expanded its presence in Latin America, offering its local customers and international operators a wider range of seamless services and dedicated support at new locations in Argentina, Colombia and Peru. Providing a range of services including FBO facilities, aircraft fuelling, ground handling and global trip planning, Jetex’ new locations complement its existing operations in the region in destinations including: Brazil, Chile and Mexico.

In a statement issued during this year’s EBACE Connect, Adel Mardini, Founder and CEO of Jetex commented: “With global private aviation experiencing rapid growth post COVID-19, we continue to develop and deliver even better solutions to our customers worldwide. Jetex has professionals stationed across Latin America to offer the most efficient and reliable solutions. We are now broadening our reach of capabilities and commercial representation to more destinations with the aim to further consolidate our services in key markets across the region.”

Diego Giamberini, Director, Jetex LATAM & Caribbean, added that “Jetex teams understand the utmost importance of each mission, offering unparalleled flexibility and assurance. Our multilingual fuel and ground operations professionals are available 24-hours a day to attend, process and coordinate any requirements for flights and to ensure a quick and effective turnaround in all major airports in the region.”